Education delivered by a private or public school is a system of education where the learning trajectory of the child is set in accordance to the regulations of an education board. This kind of organizational structure constitutes of large intellectual and infrastructural capacities. These schools can begin to function only after necessary government approvals, inspections and compliances.
In this system, the primary educator is the teacher and the decision maker is the school administration. On the other hand, home-schooling is referred to as a system of education where there is no chief education board governing the child’s learning journey. In this system, the parent is the primary decision maker for content, time-table and the teaching learning materials.
A lot of Indian parents, in the pandemic struck world are ‘hiring’ independent teachers to help their children with learning in those areas where they feel they themselves cannot add any value or the school’s online classes are not very fruitful.
In that sense what India is experiencing in the unprecedented times of COVID-19, is an amalgamation of the private schooling and home-schooling type of structures. This has not only compelled parents to become more active participants in the learning journey of their children but has also opened job opportunities for many qualified job seekers keen on being independent teachers.
As the interest in the home-schooling profession is on the rise so are queries regarding remuneration and necessary qualifications. Since home-schooling has been a less accepted form of alternative education in our country therefore it is difficult to come up with data backed with research.
In the absence of guidelines for the home-school system of alternative education in our country it would be best to follow ballpark figures for remuneration and that for qualifications in alignment with the general precedence of the teaching sector in the country.
In our country teacher training from reputed institutes, mainly the BEd (Bachelor of Education) degree is mandatory. For middle school teachers and senior school teacher’s subject expertise also becomes an essential pre-requisite.
A senior school teacher is expected to have subject expertise of a Masters’ degree level. Over and above the basic qualifications the teacher should have knowledge of age specific behaviour and learning needs of the child.
The home-tutor should have a pleasing personality, should be responsible, planned, focussed and overall be a good role model to the child. Average hourly rates for home-schooling could be anywhere upwards of Rs 500 per hour for individual sessions and lesser for group sessions. Some factors affecting the charges are; individual or group sessions, student’s age and class, subject complexity, support material required, preparation time and travel cost for the teacher.
In India, The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, popularly known as the Right to Education Act 2009, does not specify in black or white terms about the legal status of home schooling.
As per a report by a leading publication of India titled ‘’RTE: Home Schooling Too is Fine’’ made headlines. The controversial statement, “parents dissatisfied with the education system may choose home schooling for their children” was made by Kapil Sibal, the then Union Minister of Human Resource Development.
This statement was later clarified by P.K Tiwari, the then Director, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of School and Literacy, on 15th September 2010. He said, ‘’While the idea of home-schooling may be conceptually sound in India we are currently working towards universalization of education-ensuring that each child has a school within accessible reach both at the elementary level and secondary level.
At this stage of educational development, it may not be viable for us to formally opt for a home-schooling system. Such parents who voluntarily opt for such systems may of course continue to do so.’’
It is clear from this statement that the Indian government does not promote home-schooling and therefore public and private schooling remains the more recognized form of education in current day India.
According to the 15th Indian Census (16th Indian Census is due in 2021), 2011, Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India; Children in the age group of 0-4 years constituted of 9.7% of the total population, children in the age group of 5-9 years constituted of 9.2% and children in the age group of 10-14 years constituted of 10.5% of the total population of India.
In absolute numbers children in the age group of 5-14 years were 259,637,338. This is also the age-group ‘entitled’ to education, as a state is mandate. Additionally, the number of children in the age group 15-19 years was 120,526,449, of which a large number certainly fall in the school-going group.
Total percentage of children (as per 2001 census) less than 18 years of age constituted of 41% of the population! If we are to keep these statistics as ‘ballpark’ figures then, the school education has to reach atleast 259,637,338 children, which is excluding, the 120,526,449 children in the age group of 15-19 years.
It is clear from these statistics that a career in education is not only the need of the hour for the sake of our country but has a huge potential for each and every in service or prospective teacher.
Advantages of a career in home-schooling
- Capitalizing on the change in attitude of parents towards medium of delivery of education
- Earnings commensurate with the number of hours of work v/s a fixed monthly salary
- Better work-home balance
- Flexibility in drafting timelines and the learning trajectory v/s fixed department guidelines in a school
- Master of your own time
- Personalized attention to students for educators looking for contentment and job satisfaction
- Selecting age group and subject of one’s expertise and interest
Disadvantages of a career in home-schooling
- Difficulty in building individual credibility v/s being a teacher at a well-established school
- Poor access to a range of educational resources and teaching-learning tools
- Co-learning is the more congruent way of teaching and learning versus learning in isolation at home
- Continuous pressure to maintain parent’s trust
- No access to peer group and department teachers for exchange of ideas and clarification of concepts
- Space issues for conducting in person classes
- Uncertainty of career viability post the pandemic