Of late there is a disturbing trend in commerce education. CA coaching classes have mushroomed across the length and breadth of India. These coaching classes are capitalizing on their brand value and word of mouth publicity. Students of commerce succumb to peer pressure.
So, where is the problem? These coaching classes advocate that there is no need for any student to go to college to pursue a B.Com course. They encourage students to join a college where there are no mandatory attendance requirements so that students can attend the CA coaching classes right from the morning and they can bunk the classes in college. Some colleges do give an allowance of 1 hour so that students can leave college early and attend the coaching classes that are held from 7 am to 2 pm or 3 pm to 9 pm.
A professor of accounting in a reputed college in Koramangala, Bangalore says, “Parents and their wards succumb to the pressure created by other parents or class mates. They enroll their children in CA coaching and encourage them to bunk the regular classes. Some students end up failing in both the BCom exams and CA entrance. What can you do then? In the rush to complete CA along with the BCom course, students end up completing neither. There are umpteen cases that go unreported. CA coaching classes are not going to refund your fees if you do not clear the CA entrance. “
Sadly the colleges too have fallen prey to this syndrome as some of them have a strategic alliance with these CA coaching institutes and waive off attendance requirements. The colleges get fees from the students and a sizeable cut from these CA coaching classes.
What are the prospects after completing a CA? Mr Damodharan whose son Pranav completed his CA in 5 years says that his son has got a job in an accounting firm at a starting salary of Rs.20000 per month. Job prospects for chartered accountants are not that as rosy as these CA coaching classes would have you believe.
Vinay Desai, a student of a college in North Bangalore had to take professional advice from NIMHANS – a mental institute in Bangalore. What was the reason? Vinay had bunked his BCom classes. He attended the CA coaching from morning to noon and then drove back home to study again. Both his parents were working. There was no college life for Vinay. At the age of 19, Vinay had a burn-out. There were no friends, no interaction in social circles and life was confined to attending CA coaching and coming back home and studying. Vinay could not clear his first year BCom exams and so anyway he lost one year. Now he is suffering from depression. Why this mad rush? We need to educate our children but in the process should we cause them so much mental stress and agony? Parents have to take a call in this regard.
This article is not to demean chartered accountants or point accusing fingers at them. Chartered accountancy is a noble profession, no doubt but it requires intense hardwork. A student who does not have the aptitude for CA should not be pushed into it. The CA coaching classes will advocate that theirs is the best coaching for the CA exams but can they offer any guarantee on the same? Children may be unaware about these pitfalls but parents have to apply their mind to this kind of situation.
What if a student clears all the CA exams and gets a CA degree at the age of 21 years? Can this bring back college life for him? Can he go back to his college and enjoy the company of his friends in the college canteen?
So, parents please think twice before taking any important decision regarding your child’s career. Nothing in the world is more important than the safety and well-being (both physical and mental) of your child.