“Sundays with Purav” is a 11 part series in collaboration with our very own, Purav Raja. Through his first hand experience of competing on the ATP Tour, Purav aims to educate Indian tennis parents, fans, and community, in general, about what our country needs to do to be called a sporting nation

Whether it is sport or education, why are we Indians big believers in the institution of private lesson, as in my eyes it is the height of selfishness and inequality. Why are all the coaches looking to do private sport lessons and all the teachers in our community looking to give private tuitions? The answer is very simple my friends, and as usual, it is because they don’t get paid well enough to support themselves or their families in their primary job at the academy or the school.

If you go to any tennis academy in Europe, you will never see any kids being guided separately for a private lesson for extra money and there is never a private fitness lesson where the kid is asked to pay extra. Every kid will get equal attention, as the coaches are paid on a salary basis for working 9 to 6 like any office or bank. Personally I feel this is very beneficial to the coaching ethos and it’s the structure needed to make professional tennis players. It ensures that the coach and the players share a professional honest relationship to develop every child into the best player they can be.

The coach can now teach what he knows and each kid should benefit without any external factors. Compare this to India where the coach needs the student who he does private tuition with to feed his family and the kid needs the coach to become a tennis player as he knows the coach is not really putting in his 100 percent into the group session. I don’t really blame the coach here as instead of working a normal 8-9 hour day(which is a lot in itself in tennis), he is now working 14-15 hours, with his main income coming from private lessons with wealthy kids. Can you spend 15 hours a day with 100% work ethic and motivation? I certainly cannot!

It is exactly the same in academics, where the rich kids get the best tuitions and in turn learn EXACTLY what they need to for the exam, and therefore get the highest grade. It is an absolute joke to think we send our younger generation to school for 8 hours a day and then give them 4 hours extra tuition everyday just to ensure that they stand first in class. What we are really explaining to them is corruption in India is rife! The class teacher doesn’t teach the main syllabus to the best of their ability in class, so to do well and get the preferential treatment in class, you must take this private tuition.

Do not, for one second, blame this teacher as we would all do the same to feed our families, and mentally cannot give the same dedication in class for 100 dollars a month salary. They earn 10 times that in private tuition(pay peanuts get monkeys) The same applies to all levels of education in India, starting from nursery, all the way through into college and then we wonder why our youth are so money obsessed. Why not? Also, after 12 hours at school and double the workload in every subject, you really think you can make a world class sportsman – good luck!

What amazes me really is that everyone is fighting for his or her job, so no one is really prepared to stand up and make this change and give teachers the international salaries they deserve and ban private lessons in sports academies, as everyone will work together at the SAME time and rise together to all be the best players they can be. The world is again laughing while we yet again use our Indian crab mentality and are busy fighting with each other, while there is a big whole world we need to compete against. No one will rise because the minute one crab will try to go up, three others will pull him down and give him another low grade, only because he didn’t take that private lesson.

Impossible is nothing! 🙂

Thank you,
Purav Raja

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