Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

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Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

Postby coast » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:59 pm

MP Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar said in Parliament on 21 Oct 2011 "We need to bring our students' learning away from tuition teachers and tuition centres, that tend to regard education as a commodity, and back into our schools where teachers are there because they see education as a necessity. To them, teaching is a calling where they care and they believe they can lead and inspire our students."

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/ ... 87/1/.html

Anyone knows whether there is any MOE follow-up to what Dr Intan said?

Just came across an article "Tuition We Don’t Have to Believe In", while I do not agree with some points in the article, there are quite a number of valid points raised. There is also a lengthy comment by a JC1 student in response to the article, I quote some of the points here (entire article can be found in the link below):-

The problem with education is that tuition is forcing standards upwards, requiring students to take even more tuition courses in order to compete with their peers.

When schools find that a larger-than-expected number students are exceeding the benchmarks set, they might conclude that their benchmarks are too low, and they can afford to push their students further, and hence they might raise the difficulty of their tests until the number of students exceeding the benchmarks returns to more normal levels. This is likely due to a belief that harder tests will prepare students better for the various standardised exams they must sit for (PSLE, N’s/O’s, A’s), and that by having their students do better for these exams the school becomes more competitive and prestigious, as well as receiving awards from the government.

Hence, in this case, an increase in the level of expenditure on tuition services may lead to a rise in the academic standards of a particular batch of students, but this rise may in turn lead to the schools raising the difficulty of their tests even further, leading to more students receiving “poor” results and hence driving parents to spend more on tuition in order to ensure their child has a shot at entering the “elite” who receive scholarships and other rewards for good academic performance, and hence a vicious cycle of expenditure and raising of standards in response to expenditure.

Food for thought?

http://guanyinmiao.wordpress.com/2011/1 ... elieve-in/

coast
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Re: Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

Postby peterc » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:18 pm

coast wrote:MP Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar said in Parliament on 21 Oct 2011 "We need to bring our students' learning away from tuition teachers and tuition centres, that tend to regard education as a commodity, and back into our schools where teachers are there because they see education as a necessity. To them, teaching is a calling where they care and they believe they can lead and inspire our students."

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/ ... 87/1/.html

Anyone knows whether there is any MOE follow-up to what Dr Intan said?

Just came across an article "Tuition We Don’t Have to Believe In", while I do not agree with some points in the article, there are quite a number of valid points raised. There is also a lengthy comment by a JC1 student in response to the article, I quote some of the points here (entire article can be found in the link below):-

The problem with education is that tuition is forcing standards upwards, requiring students to take even more tuition courses in order to compete with their peers.

When schools find that a larger-than-expected number students are exceeding the benchmarks set, they might conclude that their benchmarks are too low, and they can afford to push their students further, and hence they might raise the difficulty of their tests until the number of students exceeding the benchmarks returns to more normal levels. This is likely due to a belief that harder tests will prepare students better for the various standardised exams they must sit for (PSLE, N’s/O’s, A’s), and that by having their students do better for these exams the school becomes more competitive and prestigious, as well as receiving awards from the government.

Hence, in this case, an increase in the level of expenditure on tuition services may lead to a rise in the academic standards of a particular batch of students, but this rise may in turn lead to the schools raising the difficulty of their tests even further, leading to more students receiving “poor” results and hence driving parents to spend more on tuition in order to ensure their child has a shot at entering the “elite” who receive scholarships and other rewards for good academic performance, and hence a vicious cycle of expenditure and raising of standards in response to expenditure.

Food for thought?

http://guanyinmiao.wordpress.com/2011/1 ... elieve-in/


Indeed more and more people are taking tuition. Interesting article, thanks for the link.

peterc
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Re: Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

Postby Joule » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:23 pm

yes, we can bring our students learning away from tuition WHEN

1) grade inflation has stopped and is under control

but grade inflation is but a result of parental 'kiasu-ness' (which is why you are here, no?)

also, in an increasing competitive nation (with more FT kiddos coming in), how do your kids stand out? isn't it to study harder and hopefully become a chicken essence kiddo?

basically, in parent's hearts, I think deep down they still have this ancient china imperial examination mindset. the best and brightest become officials and get to serve the emperor.... wonder who the emperor is going to be, this time....

if marks were not the issue, tuition centres would go out of business.
so being kiasu parents, they subscribe to more tuition, more homework, more enrichment.....more grades...which means scholarship, become an elite official / civil servant and live happily ever after.....

Joule
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Re: Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

Postby Chenonceau » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:35 am

We have a system that believes that good exams serve to distinguish the best from the best of the very best. What is wrong with having exams that test a given domain... and have students all bunch at the top... and we have low variance and high average in the curve?

Is there a need to distinguish the best from the best of the best? Some people will say there is a need. So... if we insist to test out the best of the best of the best... then the system should UP ITS OWN game in teaching effectiveness so that it doesn't end up testing skills & approaches developed by enrichment centres JUST SO that it can distinguish the best.

When you test skills you don't teach sufficiently nor have time/resources to allow for sufficient skills practice (because your Teachers dunno how or have no time... and your textbooks fail to document so that children can't even self-study), you force parents and students to go for tuition even if they don't want to (or have no money to).

2 solutions. Either...
(1) Don't TEST to the best OR
(2) (if you wanna test to the best) then TEACH to the best EVEN IN mainstream

Challenge your system to narrow the gap (by teaching more OR testing less) instead of challenging parents and kids to keep chasing rising standards of performance. Begin with more comprehensive textbooks so that parents don't have to pay tutors to get that extra material... and Teachers don't have to die WRITING and SELECTING their own material on top of TEACHING, MARKING, SETTING EXAMS, DISCIPLINING, CARING.

HODs have told me "The best will naturally know because they have natural aptitude." This is a joke. The learning has to come from somewhere ... if not Tutors, then from excellent written resources. Children cannot NATURALLY KNOW like they're born knowing. Teachers in schools have no time to provide sufficient skills practice in a skills heavy syllabus. Textbooks look like chick lit. WHERE will the learning come from if not tuition?

Teachers are also leaving the system in droves because they can't bridge the gap.

Chenonceau
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Re: Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

Postby limlim » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:52 am

How about this.. MOE should conduct surveys on students to find how many is having tuition, and schools should discourage students from having tuition.

School with very very low % of student having tuition (say, <1%) will be given incentive, and schools with high % of students (say, > 40%) having tuition will be given dis-incentive, or demerit points etc..

So, the teachers will have to do their part to convince parents that tuition is not needed..

Of coz, this is very brief and there may be many considerations.. but.. would this be in the right direction? To move students away from tuition, this have to start from the root itself.. the schools..

limlim
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Re: Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

Postby Chenonceau » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:10 am

This is such a sincere attempt at suggesting an improvement limlim. It's great.

But you can convince all you like... As long as you test more than you teach because you expect the bright ones to NATURALLY KNOW... then no parent will listen to you. Parents will turn to Teachers and ask Teachers to teach more and better. And Teachers will back off because...

(1) They're already overloaded.

(2) They have to WRITE their own textbooks, WRITE exams and practices, TEACH, MARK, CARE, CCA, and WRITE AUDIT REPORTS

The same thing is happening in education as in housing or transport. The rich get richer. The smart get smarter. MOE does not have to play this game by testing skills that only enrichment centres (and rich parents) have the resources to hone. If it wants to test at this range, then TEACH at this range so that tuition is not necessary.

If schools Teach Better OR Test Less, the pressures for tuition will lessen. Else, no parent will listen to any amount of advice to not have tuition.

Chenonceau
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Re: Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

Postby Sun_2010 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:13 am

limlim wrote:How about this.. MOE should conduct surveys on students to find how many is having tuition, and schools should discourage students from having tuition.

School with very very low % of student having tuition (say, <1%) will be given incentive, and schools with high % of students (say, > 40%) having tuition will be given dis-incentive, or demerit points etc..

So, the teachers will have to do their part to convince parents that tuition is not needed..

Of coz, this is very brief and there may be many considerations.. but.. would this be in the right direction? To move students away from tuition, this have to start from the root itself.. the schools..


I think this is a good idea. it may need fine tuning but the basis is godd.
Make percentage of students taking Tutions /enrichment vs the total no of students taught a major KPI for the teachers and for school.

It is not very fair to the teachers in the beginning given the current environment, but with time the kiasuness of parents will settle down and so will this mad rush.

Sun_2010
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Re: Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

Postby limlim » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:52 pm

limlim wrote:So, the teachers will have to do their part to convince parents that tuition is not needed..


Chenonceau wrote:But you can convince all you like... As long as you test more than you teach because you expect the bright ones to NATURALLY KNOW... then no parent will listen to you. Parents will turn to Teachers and ask Teachers to teach more and better. And Teachers will back off because...


Papers are set by teachers. So, the standard of the papers is also part of the parameters to convince parents that tuition is really not needed...... They should only test on what they already teach..

limlim
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Re: Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

Postby coast » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:10 pm

Chenonceau wrote:We have a system that believes that good exams serve to distinguish the best from the best of the very best. What is wrong with having exams that test a given domain... and have students all bunch at the top... and we have low variance and high average in the curve?

Is there a need to distinguish the best from the best of the best? Some people will say there is a need. So... if we insist to test out the best of the best of the best... then the system should UP ITS OWN game in teaching effectiveness so that it doesn't end up testing skills & approaches developed by enrichment centres JUST SO that it can distinguish the best.

When you test skills you don't teach sufficiently nor have time/resources to allow for sufficient skills practice (because your Teachers dunno how or have no time... and your textbooks fail to document so that children can't even self-study), you force parents and students to go for tuition even if they don't want to (or have no money to).



Let's say MOE believes and won't change the need to distinguish the best from the best of the best.

MOE has the statistics from PSLE past years' papers which are the "killer" questions (i.e., a small % managed to solve them). Can they look at MOE textbooks and ask ... can a 12-year old solve this with the textbooks? Look further into the statistics, what is the background (family income, school, class) that these students come from, any conclusion? Unfortunately we cannot "track" students who had enrichment, tuition, ... etc. Otherwise the picture might be clearer.

I believe MOE or SEAB has already done some of the above (SEAB has given official replies that they are making sure PSLE maintains the same level of difficulties ... so they must have analyse both the questions as well as the results?).

Frankly, I am not sure whether the stress (and the over-reliance of tuition/ enrichment) is due to schools (internal exams) or MOE (PSLE). Schools (esp the top schools) have always made their internal exams more difficult than the standard PSLE/ O levels/ ... Parents/ Schools made their students practise top schools' past year papers but in actual fact, some of the questions there might be beyond PSLE complexity.

Are we barking at the wrong tree? We will not know as MOE/ SEAB does not release the exact past year PSLE papers. I am not even sure if principals/ HODs have access to the actual past year PSLE papers. The "hiding" of certain questions (for whatever reasons) only serve to make schools (assuming they do not have access to actual PSLE papers) and enrichment centres raising their "standards" higher and higher. I once heard of a top school (with its own Maths materials) setting the standard so high that its students did not do well for PSLE Maths in a particular year ... it seems that the students were focusing too much on difficult questions and in the process, they could not do well for PSLE Maths.

coast
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Re: Can we bring our students' learning away from tuition?

Postby coast » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:13 pm

Sun_2010 wrote:
limlim wrote:How about this.. MOE should conduct surveys on students to find how many is having tuition, and schools should discourage students from having tuition.

School with very very low % of student having tuition (say, <1%) will be given incentive, and schools with high % of students (say, > 40%) having tuition will be given dis-incentive, or demerit points etc..

So, the teachers will have to do their part to convince parents that tuition is not needed..

Of coz, this is very brief and there may be many considerations.. but.. would this be in the right direction? To move students away from tuition, this have to start from the root itself.. the schools..


I think this is a good idea. it may need fine tuning but the basis is godd.
Make percentage of students taking Tutions /enrichment vs the total no of students taught a major KPI for the teachers and for school.

It is not very fair to the teachers in the beginning given the current environment, but with time the kiasuness of parents will settle down and so will this mad rush.


Good idea but how do one track whether students take tuition/ enrichment? :?

coast
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