Nifa Classes calls itself ‘A Factory of Engineers’. Based in Kanpur, it claims to have nearly 2000 students who give engineering entrance exams, with many in the top 50 of the UPSEE every year. We spoke to Saurabh Sahay, HOD-Maths at Nifa.

What colleges are targeted by students who do not get into IITs or NITs?

Well, there is a craze about IITs, especially IIT Kanpur, since it is here in this city. Other than that, students try to look at colleges like Ambedkar Institute (UPTU), PSIT, HBTI, etc. Our students aim at state level colleges mostly.

What kind of students come to Nifa to study?

Those who have passed 10th & entered 11th, as well as those who are joining us simultaneously along with entering the 12th standard.

You can give JEE-Main max 3 times, and JEE-Advanced twice. Hence, we also have repeaters who have taken a gap year after 12th, and have given the JEE in the past and still have attempts in hand. For such students, we teach in rankers/repeaters batches.

Since JEE Mains is a game of speed and accuracy, we have seen that our CBSE students make less effort in trying to excel, as their focus is on NITs rather than on IITs. Only some students aim for IITs, and they make as much effort as is needed.

Kanpur seems to be having quite a few individual coaches who teach specific subjects only. How does it compare with combined classes or integrated learning?

Integrated learning, as an idea, is yet to take off in Kanpur. The idea that the college that prepares students for Board Exams, is the same as the institute preparing them for JEE, is not as well known, as it is in Kota and elsewhere. Some institutes have started integrated programmes here, but they are yet to get numbers. Mostly, students take admission in local colleges, and the coaches request the colleges to be lenient about attendance when coaching is ongoing.

Individual coaches are those experts who have spent 10-15+ years teaching the same topic day in & day out. Students and parents realise that these experts have in-depth knowledge of that particular topic alone, and go to them for learning a specific subject only. The benefit of doing that is, rest assured, the student will learn that subject exceptionally well, but which may be  detrimental towards learning other subjects.

Comparatively, combined coaching has benefits that individual coaching doesn’t. In combined coaching institutes, a lot of time is saved in traveling from one point to another  and all subjects are taught under one roof. The instructors in a combined institute speak with each other, compare notes, and alert the teachers of the particular subjects, if they find a student being weak in another topic while being strong in their own. This may not happen in individual coaching. Combined coaching also has a better selection ratio in the JEE Mains results. 

This interview was conducted by @grondmaster 

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