Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Private tuition for students

A few letters were published in the Straits Times on the need for tuition. Some parents said that they were compelled to give tuition because of the high demands of the education system. Another writer said that it is the decision of the parent and not the system.

There are two issues underlying this debate:

1. Is the standard of the syllabus set too high for each grade, that many students find it difficult to cope?
2. Do parents arrange tuition for their children to pass the subject or to achieve the top grade?

The standard is probably set too high. I remember that a topic that I learned in secondary one 50 years ago was covered in primary 4 about 20 years ago. I wonder if it is now covered in primary 3?

The high demand do not seem to produce better quality students. I find an unwillingness to think or to solve puzzles, even among people who did well in the examinations.

Many parents probably arrange tuition for their children to achieve top grade. This is not necessary.

To change the mindset. we have to make a drastic change to the system. I would consider the following:

1. In the report cards, show only if the student had passed or failed in each subject (and not not aim to show a more detailed grade).
2. The student will be informed of the detailed grade, but it will not appear in the official record.

This will allow the student to identify which are their strong and weak subjects, and make the effort to achieve a pass, without putting in undue stress to achieve the top grade.


eJim said...

i arranged tuitions for my eldest child to help her pass her primary school exams, not to get good grades. i don't even know how to coach her all by myself even though i am a degree holder but i'm not trained to be a teacher, so there is a limit to how to coach her or help her in her school work. i think what she is learning now is so much harder than we have learn during our time. when i asked her school teacher what the school or herself is going to do to help her, the answer i get is clearly telling me nothing. they will just go ahead and hope my daughter can catch up with them. even shortage of manpower in school is given as an excuse to me. i have since give up hope that the school can help her. all student develop at different pace, i can only do my best and provide all the necessary help that i can afford in hope that she can pass her PSLE. i also hope she enjoy her childhood and not be stress by the exams. it is not my choice to bring her to extra tuitions, the money spent can be of better use if given a choice.

yujuan said...

The only tuition that children need is their second language.
But make learning the language fun and stress free.
For my experience, I employed a tutor from China working in Singapore as a Chinese teacher. She was instructed to guide reading the entertainment pages of all the Chinese Dailies with my son, discussing the contents. It's gossip news that held his attention, then the boy had to write a passage of his views and judgement in Chinese.
The serious stuff of the Papers were off limits, and no homework from his school were tutored.
The rest of the school subjects I left him to learn on his own, bereft of any tuition whatsoever.

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