Shadow Learning for English Language Proficiency: Student Perceptions on Shadow Education in Nepal

The present study based on Language Learning with Shadow Education was carried out to explore the perceptions of English language learners on private tutoring in terms of language teaching technique, content coverage, use of materials (teaching materials and reference materials), and classroom management.  Thirty Bachelor level students were selected following a purposive non-random sampling procedure. To find out the perceptions of the students, I used a questionnaire containing both open-ended and close-ended questions. Data collected from informants were tabulated and analyzed applying simple statistical tools i.e. tables, bar diagrams,s, and pie-chart. By analyzing and interpreting the data, I found that students are positive toward private tutoring in the sense, tutoring helps to secure high marks; it also helps the students who cannot regularly attend the class. Students get individual treatment and student-centered techniques are applied in tutoring classes. But they accepted that tutoring increases students’ dependency on teachers; it demands extra fees and time, so all the students may not be able to afford it. So, it increases social inequality as well.

Introduction to Shadow Education

Commonly known as a distinguished means of communication is language. There are more than thoisands and different varieties of languages throughout the world. English is considered to be a widely used, most prestigious, and significant language in the world and it has been a most needed phenomenon in the present scenario in the sense that there is a wider scope of it in all the sectors; like education, business, medicine, science and technology and media. Referencing the context of Nepal, English has been regarded as a foreign language (yet no a second language). Though it is a foreign language in Nepal its demand is growing every single day. English language teaching in Nepalese education started only in 1971 A.D. with the implementation of the National Education System Plan (NESP, 1971). It started when the college of Education of Tribhuvan University initiated B.Ed.  in English education, English had been taught as a compulsory subject from class four before 2060 B.S. Realizing the need and demands of the people government has recently introduced English from class one to Bachelor’s level as a compulsory subject.

In this present ground, the explosion of knowledge is rapid, so it has been necessary to gain and impart knowledge and skills. There are several ways of imparting knowledge, which has been termed as mainstream education. There is not only an opportunity for mainstream education but also shadow education (Bray, 1990) in the name of quality enhancement. As the expansion of mainstream education, the expansion of shadow education is also rapid. The volume of shadow education is growing worldwide as well as in Nepal.

Shadow education is generally defined as supplementary tutoring which is the shadow of mainstream education. Private tutoring is simply, considered to be scaffolding of mainstream education. It is concerned with tutoring of academic subjects that are provided for fees and that takes place outside standard school hours. The private tutorial is an extra school instruction and is conducted by the teachers, family members, community groups, and other organized groups. Shadow education is being expanded significantly. At present, there is a high level of investment in shadow education. “Expanding numbers of researchers are focusing on the scale and impact of private tutoring, such tutoring is widely called shadow education since much of its curriculum mimics that of regular schooling” Bray( 1999, p.61).

The influence of shadow education can not be measured within a country as it has worldwide significance; it is generally assumed that private tutoring supports slow learners. More especially, it helps the learner to be competitive in the high-stakes testing. But private tutoring has also different drawbacks, it, directly and indirectly, hinders the educational activities of mainstream education, the teachers may create pressure over guardians to send their children to private tuition classes teachers do not provide much attention in the classroom rather they are centered towards private tuition class. The students also do not pay attention in their school classes. it also enhances social inequality. The example of shadow education can be taken as private tutoring, tuition classes, teacher service commission preparation class, civil service preparation class.

Bray’s (ibid) research report on private tutorials in 1999 at the international institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) led the milestone for the existence of shadow education on discussion. The first discussion of shadow education was held in 2007 A.D. in Paris in a policy formulation meeting which was organized by IIEP.

It’s very common to see that students’ regular teachers take tutoring in developing countries but it’s very uncommon in rich countries. First, there may be a smaller supply of educated non-teachers who can serve as tutors in developing countries. Second, teachers may have a stronger desire to supplement their regular salary because they are poorer. Third, less monitoring of teachers by supervisors and parents might result in more scope for rent-seeking but teachers, which in turn would increase their interest in providing tutoring. Fourth, banning tutoring by teachers, which rich countries such as Singapore have done might be less feasible in poor countries. Perhaps, because of the stronger political clout of government or the inability to enforce the regulation. Fifth, the government sometimes views tutoring as a way to boost the income of teachers and thereby attract and retain better teachers. A few countries have banned other tutors and granted government teachers the exclusive right to offer tutoring for this reason (Jayachandran, 2014, p. 190).

Here Jayachandran explains that in developing countries, regular teachers provide tutoring classes because there may be a smaller supply of educated teachers. Similarly, teachers may want to supplement their regular salaries. Another factor to promote tutoring is the lack of supervision by supervisors and parents. The government also sometimes views tutoring as a way to boost the income of teachers to attract and retain better teachers.

Agendas for Investigation

Instruction of English as a foreign language depends upon different fundamental factors. We all know that teaching-learning of English is considered to be one of the challenging tasks. Some of the learners drop out of their studies due to their failure in English. Most English learners are engaged in private tutoring to make their learning easier. Private tutoring is supplementary education to mainstream education which is assumed to be the scaffolding of mainstream education as well. We as English language teachers and students do not pay attention to whether private tutoring is really enhancing the quality of learning or it is just for fashion. If we analyze our context, most of the students feel difficulty learning English because of different things; they may not get sufficient exposure to practice it, perception on it, learning environment. The main objective of English instruction is to make the learner able to communicate in it but unfortunately, the students are concerned only on how to pass English and private tutoring is the one which is directly involved in it. Nowadays, the attention of students is on attending private tutoring rather than taking part in mainstream education to learn English. So, private tutoring in English learning has been the area for my study.

Objectives of the Study

Any research is done to find out something or to fulfil the objectives. Objectives  are the core of any research, in my research, the objectives are as follows:

To explore the perceptions  of Bachelor level English students  on the role of private tutoring in terms of language teaching technique, content coverage, use of materials ( teaching materials and reference materials),  and classroom management and

Research Questions

Research questions are the guiding questions of the study. Generally, objectives are converted into question form. Research questions guide the researcher to reach the findings of the study. In my study, the following are the research questions:

  1. What are the perceptions of Bachelor level English students toward the language teaching technique applied in tutoring classes?
  2.  What are the perceptions of Bachelor level English students on content coverage in tutoring classes?
  3.  What are the perceptions of bachelor-level English students on use of materials and classroom management in tutoring classes?

Significance of the Study

Teaching-learning of English is a challenging task which depends upon different variables. Learning of English is not only confined to classroom situations but also institutional settings. This particular study concerned with private tutoring and English language learning will be beneficial, especially to English language learners in the sense that this research will help to know the impact of tutoring in English learning whether it is really supportive of it is just fashionable.  Similarly, tutors will also get the benefit will knowing the perception of learners regarding their teaching as well; it will help them to modify their teaching style also. In the same way, guardians will also know the impact of tutoring on their pupil’s learning. Textbook writers, syllabus designers, and curriculum developers will benefit in the sense that this research will let them know the curriculum is also responsible for making learners attend private tutoring, and all the people, directly and indirectly, involved in ELT will benefit.

The area of my study is limited to the Kathmandu district. Only thirty Bachelor 1st year students are involved in the study. The primary data was collected through a questionnaire containing open-ended and close-ended questions. This research is limited to the bachelor 1st-year students who frequently involve in private tutoring in different tuition/coaching centers.

Definitions of the Key Terms Used in This Paper

Mainstream Education: The current way of delivering education. This research, it refers to the current way of education in which Bachelor 1st year students are involved.

Private Tutoring: Tutoring is provided in exchange for a fee which is considered to be scaffolding of regular schooling. In my study, it indicates tutoring attended by Bachelor 1st year students in different tuition/coaching centres in groups while preparing for the higher secondary level examination.

Shadow Education: Supplementary education is provided in addition to regular schooling or extra school l instruction.  In my study, it signifies extra school instruction attended by bachelor first year students while preparing for the higher secondary level examination.

Ground and Support for this Study

We all know that any academic notion has theoretical ground, being based upon those grounds we make several discussions. Language is a social phenomenon that largely depends upon process more than content in the sense that language learning does not take place by only reading or studying the content rather it requires certain procedures, which highly demands the natural use of language. The instruction of the English language consists of its aspects and skills and the learning of the English language refers to mastering all the aspects and skills.

The Aspect of English Language Teaching and Learning

Mastering the English language involves a comprehensive understanding of its fundamental aspects and skills. This journey includes delving into grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Each component plays a crucial role in effective communication and language proficiency. In this exploration, we will unravel the significance of these elements and their interconnectedness in the process of successful English language acquisition.

Grammar

Generally, grammar is the rule or structure of language. Any language follows a certain pattern. Thornbury (1999, p. 1),  says that “Grammar is partly the study of what forms (or structure) are possible in a language grammar is a description of the rules that govern how a language’s sentences are formed.” The main concern of teaching-learning of grammar lies in the procedure of acceptable sentence construction.

Similarly, in this regard, Harmer (2008, p. 60), says our sentences depend on their success in putting the number of elements in the correct order, in the case subject, verb, complement. However, there are some changes we are allowed to make to our sentence elements and these will alter the meaning of the sentence for e.g.

Subject ® Verb,           Verb ® Subject

So to use language correctly, the learners need to learn the language of that language.

Vocabulary

Earlier, teaching vocabulary was not regarded as important but later on, it is considered to be necessary for the successful learning of any language. In this regard, Richards and Renendya ( 2002) state that in the past vocabulary teaching and learning were often given little priority in second language programs but recently there has been a renewed interest like vocabulary and its role in language learning.

Vocabulary has received significant attention from researchers and practitioners since it’s a core component of language proficiency and provides much of the basis for how well learners speak, listen, read and write without an extensive vocabulary, learners may achieve less than their potential.

Harmer (2008) also emphasizes the importance of vocabulary as if language structure makes up the skeleton of language then it is vocabulary that provides the vital organs and the flesh. An ability to manipulate grammatical structure does not have any potential for expressing meaning unless words are used.

Only knowing the structure of language is not sufficient the importance of vocabulary is vital in language learning. Vocabulary includes the different categories of it. A distinction is frequently made between active and passive vocabulary. Active vocabulary can be both receptive and productive while passive is only receptive. Aspects of vocabulary according to Harmer are word meaning, word use, word form, and word grammar.

Pronunciation

Pronunciation is concerned with how the speaker utters the language. In this regard, Harmer (2008, p. 61) states “The way the sentence is spoken will also determine exactly what it means.” So the learners need to be aware of pronunciation. To make correct pronunciation, one should pay attention to the intonation, pitch stress pattern of that particular language. The way of pronunciation determines the type of sentence e.g. Affirmative or interrogative, attitude of the speaker, etc.

Skills of the English Language

The main purpose of learning a language is to be able to use that language or communicate in that language we use language in terms of four skills i.e. listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The four language skills may rarely work in isolation. They are integrated to make communication meaningful and effective. The skills are often divided into two types; receptive and productive.

“Receptive skill is a term used for reading and listening skills where meaning is extracted from the discourse. Productive skill is the term for speaking and writing skills where students have to produce language themselves” (Harmer, 2007, p. 265). When we speak or write we are producing language, and when we listen or read we are trying to extract the meaning of what we have read or listened to.

Listening Skill

Listening involves making sense of spoken language, normally accompanied by other sounds and visual input, with the help of our relevant prior knowledge and the context in which we are listening. Following Richards and Renendya (2002), for many years, listening skills did not receive priority in English language teaching, skills and the relationship between receptive and productive skills was poorly understood. It was often assumed that listening skills could be acquired through exposure but not taught.

Nunan (2002) says that listening is assuring greater and greater importance in foreign language classrooms. There are several reasons for this growth in popularity. By emphasizing the role of comprehensible input, second language acquisition research has given a major boost to listening.

“Listening is good for our students’ pronunciation too, in that the more they hear and understand English being spoken.” Harmer ( 2008, p. 133) Harmer also argues that there is a dire need for listening skills to be perfect in that language, it is also necessary for pronunciation as well. Intensive and extensive listening are the categories of listening.

Speaking Skill

The main goal of learning any language is to develop communicative competence when students learn to speak appropriately in the context, both accurately and fluently, then they have developed the basis of communicative competence. Communicatively competent speakers are assumed to have grammatical accuracy, sociolinguistic or pragmatic appropriateness, strategic fluency, and organizational skills in speech.

In this regard, Harmer (2007) elaborates that if students want to be able to speak fluently in English, they need to be able to pronounce phonemes correctly, use appropriate stress and intonation patterns and speak in connected speech. But there is more to it than that. Speakers of English especially where it is a second language will have to be able to speak in a range of different genres and situations, and they will have to be able to use a range of conversational and conversational repair strategies. They need to be able to survive in typical functional exchange too.

Reading Skill

Reading, one of the receptive skills of language, is a way of grasping information from graphic symbols. It is possible when reading involves understanding. It is receptive in the sense that, the reader has to be actively involved in reading to receive information. While reading a foreign language text, the reader has to try to understand the message and information contained in the text without the help of the native speakers of the language. Here information means the content which is cognitive or intellectual, referential and emotional.

Harmar (2008, p. 99) states that “Reading is useful for language acquisition … Reading texts also provide good models for English writing.” Harmar argues that by reading, the learner can follow the model of writing especially, extensive and intensive reading are the type of reading.

Writing Skill

Writing is the skill associated with the productive aspect of language. It is immensely important because it is a permanent and powerful medium of expression. When we write we use graphic symbols. Writing is much more than the production of graphic symbols. Writings are expected to impart the message to the readers. Ur (2005, p. 68), distinguishes between spoken and written discourse features such as permanence, explicitness, and diversity. Writing involves the encoding of a message of some kind which is why it is said that we are writing for the readers. While writing, we aim to translate our thoughts into language.

Harmer (2008, p. 122) makes the distinction between writing for learning and writing for writing. In the case of the former writing is used as an aide-memoir or practice tool to help its practice and work writing with the language they have been studying. Writing for writing, on the other hand, is directed at developing the students’ skills as writers. The main purpose is that students should be better at writing.

In conclusion, the multifaceted nature of the English language requires learners to navigate through the intricacies of grammar, expand their vocabulary, hone pronunciation, and develop proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The symbiotic relationship among these components forms the foundation for effective communication. As English language educators, it is imperative to recognize and address the interconnected dynamics of these language elements to empower learners on their journey to linguistic competence and fluency.

Shadow Education

Generally, shadow education signifies the shadow of the mainstream education system. “shadows can of course be useful just as the shadow cast by a sun dial can tell the observer about the passage of time, so the shadow on the education system can tell the observer about changes in society” Bray (2007, p.17). Here Bray states that shadow education is useful in the sense that shadow education also reflects the changes in society. The activities in shadow education mimic the activities performed in school.

The term shadow used in several countries describes private supplementary tutoring as a shadow education system the metaphor of shadow is appropriate in several ways. Here some definitions are needed to help identify the nature of shadow education. First, is the matter of supplementation which is concerned with tutoring which covers subjects that are already covered in school. It does not, for example, examine language classes for minority children whose families are anxious that new generations retain competence in a language not taught in mainstream schools.

Second is the dimensions of privateness concerned with personnel who provide supplementary help at public expense e.g. to assist new immigrants to adjust to host societies or to provide head-start or other programs for slow learners. Nor is the term concerned with unpaid work, e.g. from family members who voluntarily help other family members with their homework or other tasks Rather, the term is primarily concerned with tutoring provided by private entrepreneurs and individuals for profit-making purposes. Privateness can have at least three different meanings concerning tutoring; private as fee-paying, private as taking place in a private location, and private as one-to-one teaching.

Here Bray means to say that shadow education is not completely distinct from mainstream education. It is a completely profit-based action.  Shadow education specifically occupies the supplementation and privateness as the key feature of it.  Supplementation as the key feature of private tutoring concerns with tutoring of subjects that are already covered in school. The term privateness is connected with personnel who provide supplementary help. Here privateness can be understood in terms of cost, place, and one-to-one teaching.

Shadow education has a long history in parts of Asia. In the context of Nepal, it has a long history since the Gurukul, gumba, and pandit education system. Shadow education can no longer be ignored. It has grown significantly throughout the world and shows signs of further growth. It existed after Bray’s research report on private tutorials in 1991 by the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP). Shadow education as extra-school instruction which mimics the activities of mainstream school education such as cram school, private tutoring, and test preparation services are the examples of shadow education.

Private Tutoring in English Language Learning

We all are familiar with the fact that most of the students learning English as a foreign language feel difficulty while learning it. There might be several factors behind it. So the learners try to make it easier in different ways. Mostly we find that English language learners take the support of private tutoring to learn English.

Bray’s research report on private tutorials in 1999 in the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) led to the milestone for the existence of shadow education on discussion. The first discussion of shadow education was held in 2007 A.D. in Paris in a policy formulation meeting which was organized by IIEP.

Bray (2007, p. 17) states that during recent decades, private tutoring has grown to become a vast enterprise. It employs many thousands of people, consumes many thousands of money, and demands huge amounts of time from both tutors and students. However, few planners and policymakers have adequate data on private supplementary tutoring in general, the implications of tutoring for education systems and social change are underestimated and poorly understood.

Private tutoring has gradually occupied the wider areas and shown some immediate and positive impacts on learners. However, in some countries, parents, educators and politicians are highly critical of how private tutoring has come to dominate the lives of families and pupils. Tutoring has generally created social inequalities and it consumes human and financial resources. In this regard Bray  and  Kwo (2014, p.2) write;

Some dimensions of private supplementary tutoring are very beneficial to the recipient individuals and their families and also to the wider society. Tutoring can help slow learners to keep-  up with their peers and can strengthen the achievements of fast learners. It can be tailored to the needs of individuals and groups, and it can elaborate on topics and skills that can not be covered in regular schools. On the other side, some dimensions of private supplementary tutoring may be problematic. Students and their families may suffer from pressure with extra classes on top of schooling, and some forms of tutoring are costly items for household budgets. More widely tutoring can have a negative backwash on the education system. Teachers who also provide tutoring may be tempted to put more effort into their private classes and neglect their regular duties.

There are several benefits of tutoring to the receivers, their families, and society as well. Specifically, it can help slow learners and enhance the achievement of fast learners. On the other side, private tutoring may be problematic; learners and their families may suffer from the extra fees. Moreover, it can have a negative backwash on the education system, teachers involved in tutoring classes may give more attention to it rather than their regular classes.

Bray (2007, p. 22)  says that “The terminology used to identify private tutoring varies in different countries. In some English-speaking societies, people refer to private tuition more often than to private tutoring, entrepreneurs who create a formal establishment for tutoring commonly call them centres, academics or institutions.”  Here Bray argues that though the essence of private tutoring is the same, the term to signify it is used differently.

Bray and  Kwo (2014, p. 1) “First private supplementary tutoring only exist because the mainstream education exists. Second as the size and shape of the mainstream education system change, so do the size and shape of supplementary tutoring, third in almost all societies much more public attention is on the mainstream than on its shadow, and fourth, the feature of the shadow system are much less distinct than those of the mainstream.

Here, it has been argued that private tutoring is a widely popular terminology in several countries. Private tutoring only exists due to the existence of mainstream education. The cause of change in private tutoring is a change in the mainstream system. But the people pay more attention to mainstream education than its shadow.  Moreover, the shadow is not much more distinct from the mainstream system. But in our context, most of the students pay attention to tutoring classes rather than a regular class.

Characteristics of Private Tutoring

Private tutoring occupies different characteristic features. Bray (2007, p. 23) provides the following characteristics of it:

Scale

The scale of supplementary tutoring varies widely in different societies. Major factors underlying the variation include cultures, the nature of the mainstream education system and the structures of economics, private tutoring in some countries is a very large enterprise. 70 per cent in Japan and 83 per cent secondary-level students of Japan take private tutoring. The scale of private tutoring appears to have increased during the last few decades.

Cost

Cost is another lightening feature of private tutoring. In most cases, the greatest amount of the costs are the fees paid to tutors and their agencies. In most settings, charges increase at higher levels of the education system and tutoring is more costly per person than group work. In addition to fees, students must pay for books, stationery, and travel.

Geographic Spread

Supplementary tutoring is found in many parts of the world, and especially in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. The principal regions in which tutoring is not quite as prominent are Western Europe, North America, and Austria.

Intensity

Of course not all students, even within particular locations receive tutoring for the same duration each day or week. As already indicated, students receive tutoring more intensively at the secondary rather than the primary level; and within those levels, they demand more tutoring in the grades which lead up to major examinations.

Subjects

Because the emphases of the mainstream education system vary, so do the emphases of private tutoring. In general, the subjects given most attention in private tutoring are the ones needed for educational and therefore socio-economic advancement, commonly this means languages, mathematics, and science.

Producers of Private Tutoring

According to context, producers and the purpose of private tutoring vary.  In this regard, Bray (2007, p. 37) states that the first reason is that in some settings, supply increases demand. In these circumstances, tutoring exists because the producers make it available and recommend pupils to take advantage of availability. The second reason is the nature of the types of consumers who are attracted, teachers who go to private homes and teach one-to-one basis serve a different market to those tutors who operate large classes.

Tutors who are not already employed and mainstream teachers may vary widely in characteristics. Variation of course exists in the mainstream, it is much greater in private tutoring. Tutors may be young or old, well qualified or poorly qualified, male or female, full-time or part-time, and employed by an institution or self-employed. University students commonly supplement their incomes by providing tutoring for secondary and perhaps primary school children. For the understanding of dynamics, two types of private tutors and situations are as:

  1. Where the tutors are also teachers in the mainstream system and are receiving additional payment for tutoring pupils who are already their students in the mainstream.
  2. Where the tutors provide tutoring for students for whom they do not otherwise have any responsibility.

Consumers of Private Tutoring

The reason behind attending private tutoring differs from individual to individual. In this regard, Bray (2007, p.42) says, that causal observations sometimes assume that the dominant group of students receiving tutoring comprise pupils whose academic performance is weak and who therefore need remedial assistance. The opposite is the case; the dominant group is students whose performance is already good, and who want to maintain the competitive edge.

Bray (2007, p. 45) has presented some motives for seeking tutoring.

Socio-economic group: Families in higher socio-economic groups have more opportunities to invest in tutoring and commonly use this opportunity. Proportions of students receiving tutoring are greatest in the higher socio-economic and professional groups whereas there is the least participation of students from working-class backgrounds.

High-stakes examinations: Examinations have high stakes when they significantly determine the future pathways available to the students. In Nepal, the SLC examination is considered to be high stakes. So many secondary-level students take private tutoring. And university entrance exam preparation is also another motive to search for private tutoring.

Overload curriculum: The wide variety of curriculum broadens the academic horizon but they also burden the students. Students are unable to prepare for all academic subjects. They fail to choose future options. In this case, private tutoring becomes one of the effective ways for students to master academic subjects.

Non-academic motives: Parents send students to private lessons to feel that they are doing all they can to help them. At least some students probably attend private lessons even when there is no real need. In some cases, parents assume that their children’s homework is well taken care of without having to feel responsible.

Modes of Private Tutoring

There are different modes of private tutoring. The different modes have different implications. The different modes have different implications for students, learning, tutors’ pedagogy, and government policies. According to Bray and Kwo (2014, p. 19) following are the different modes of private tutoring.

One-to-one: In this mode, a single tutor works with one student at a time. This form of tutoring is more personalized and usually more expensive than others.

Small group tutoring: In this mode, students work together as a group. Groups that are considered small in the same societies would be considered relatively large in others. Sometimes group size is influenced by regulations.

Large classes: In some societies tutorial classes are offered in groups at least equivalent in size to regular school classes and sometimes considerably larger.

Internet and broadcast tutoring: Private tutoring via the internet has become increasingly popular in which students and tutors don’t have to be located in the same city or even in the same country. Some internet tutoring operates with video clips and other computerized aids but other tutoring has direct human contact using web cameras.

Role of Private Tutoring in ELT

While there have not been many studies that directly measure the effects of shadow education on students, there are studies that have been completed which suggest that tutoring has positive effects on achievements. In a study concerning the effects of Juku (Japanese Cram Schools) by Sawada and Kobayashi (1986) as cited in Bray (2007, p. 49) They found that students attending  Juku had higher scores on problems that involved arithmetic calculation and algebra but did not show high scores in arithmetic application or geometry. Additionally, a study completed by Streaham (2005) as cited in Bray (2007, p. 51) showed that tutoring children who were reading below their grade level over the phone was effective with students increasing their reading levels. Future/other studies on the effects of private tutoring on achievement will need to consider the existing achievement of students, socioeconomic status, content and way of delivering tutoring, and the intensity and duration of tutoring programs.

If we analyze the Nepalese context regarding private tutoring and the English language, most of the scoring students pass the English subject with the support of private tutoring from primary to bachelor level.

Policies and Practices of Shadow Education in Nepal

There are some legal policies of shadow education in Nepal which have provided the rules and regulations for conducting private tutoring. The policies of shadow education are as follows:

  1. Some institutions are registered in the company registrar’s office as private companies.
  2. A few shadow institutions are run by registering them at the Ministry of Education (MoE).
  3. It is necessary to submit their yearly fiscal year audit report to the concerned office within the last date of Aswin.
  4. It is necessary to renew the shadow institution as per the rules of the concerned act.
  5. The tuition and coaching center should be registered in the District Education Office (DEO).
  6. TSC, Civil service, Entrance (CMAT, KUMAT, MBBS, CA, BE, Staff Nurse, BN, GRE, TOEFL) preparation classes should be registered in MOE or the company registrar’s office.
  7. It is necessary to take the PAN number from the tax office for financial transactions.
  8. Some shadow educational institutions are conducted by NGOs and INGOs.
  9. The NGOs must be registered in the district administration office and the PAN number must be taken from the tax office.
  10. Many other  institutions are running under the registration of VDC, municipality, and metropolitan city

Government of Nepal (1998)  Local Self Governance Act (1999),  Nepal Education Act 1971, The Companies Act 2063. Though the term shadow education has not been mentioned in these documents rather the terms company and institutions have been used.

Some Other Research in the Same Field

As we know, private tutoring prevails worldwide and Nepal is not an exception to it. Different research has been carried out in the field of private tutoring.

Thapa (2011) presented a thesis to Columbia University on “Does private school competition improve public school performance?  The case of Nepal.” The main objective of this study was to explore the impacts of private school competition on public school performance in the case of Nepal using data from the school leaving certificate (SLC) exam. The researcher has used a survey research design. The data for this study comes from a nationwide survey of 425 schools and 22,500 students from the school leaving certificate (SLC) batches of 2002, 2003, and 2004. This survey was conducted by the SLC study team sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Nepal. The survey includes 5626 families 425 head teachers and 2500 teachers.

The stratified random sampling procedure was used to carry out the research.  This survey used a questionnaire as the tool of data collection. His research findings showed that school type (private) is positive and statistically significant in explaining students’ SLC performance. There is the enrolment of different types of students in public and private schools for example private schools have more resources and certainly have students from families with higher socioeconomic status for peer effects. The achievement of students receiving tutoring was comparatively higher than that those of not receive it. Most importantly, the researcher found that 68 per cent of the Grade 10 students were receiving tutoring.

Regmi (2012)  carried out research entitled “Perceptions of M.Ed. English students on exam-focused printed materials” Though the research is not directly connected to private tutoring, it has also studied the perception of students on result-oriented activities. This research can be linked to private tutoring in the sense that the students attending private tutoring and using exam-focused materials are especially concerned with passing the exam rather than enhancing creativity.  To find out the perception of students, the researcher used two sets of questionnaires.

The sample size of the study was 60 students of M.Ed 2nd year and the purposive sampling procedure was used to select the campuses and students were selected randomly. The data collected from informants were tabulated and analyzed applying simple statistical tools. The researcher found that exam-focused printed materials were useful especially only for the students who did not take classes regularly or those students who could not manage time for their study. Moreover, most of the students were found using such materials to identify ways of starting and ending answers and most of the students were against the roles of exam-oriented materials.

Acharya (2014) conducted a study entitled “Beliefs of English learners on using guides and guess papers” This research is also not connected to private tutoring. It has also studied the perceptions of students on result-oriented activities. This research can be linked to private tutoring in the sense that taking part in tutoring and using guides and guess papers are especially concerned with passing the exam rather than broadening the knowledge. The objective of the research is to find out the beliefs of English learners on using guides and guess papers. The study was carried out using both primary and secondary sources of data.

The sample size of the research was 60 students of grade twelve and a non-random sampling procedure was followed. The research was based on a survey research design. The researcher used both open-ended and close-ended questions to elicit the data. The researcher found that guides and guess papers were especially useful for the students who are irregular in their class. However, the students were not satisfied with the quality of materials, i.e. typing, printing, and paper quality. The students suggested consulting guides and guess papers rather than authentic books.

Conclusion

Simply, it is assumed that private tutoring is necessary to learn English. Generally, private tutoring is considered to be scaffolding of regular schooling. In our context, most of the students attend private tutoring to support their study, especially the students who join private tutoring to learn English. The expansion of private tutoring is growing day by day worldwide. In the  Nepalese scenario as well, private tutoring has gained its status. This particular study intended to explore the perception of bachelor-level English students regarding private tutoring. The students perceived it to be necessary to increase English learning along with other subjects. The students take the help of the internet, newspapers, articles along private tutoring to enhance their  English learning. Though only the exam-oriented content is focused in tutoring class, it helps to score high marks in the examination. Generally, students get individual treatment, and especially learner-centred techniques are applied. There is proper classroom management in tutoring classes; teachers make use of technology as well.

By analyzing and interpreting the data, it can be concluded that students are positive toward private tutoring in the sense that it helps them to secure high marks; their needs and interests are addressed in tutoring classes. Though tutoring occupies a negative aspect the proper utilization of it will enhance the learning of students.

References

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