Your kid must have tuition... OR ELSE...

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Your kid must have tuition... OR ELSE...

Postby ChiefKiasu » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:40 pm

I had a most scary conversation with a mother yesterday, while waiting outside the music room for my kid's concert.

Apparently, her kid is in Tao Nan and some parents in his class were called in to meet the Chinese teacher. They were told point-blank that, yes, their children are scoring less than 90% but because more than half the other children in the class are scoring above 90 and full marks for their exams, their kids are in trouble (of being last in class and demotion to slower classes) if they do NOT engage private tutors to buck up.

I was like... :shock:

While I'm sure the story has been exaggerated for effect, there is probably quite a bit of truth in the events. Tao Nan is one of the GEP schools and students are graded on the curve.

I've seen it for myself - the quality of work done by kids as early as P1. There is NO way the kids could have done that without lots of external and regular practice at enrichment classes, probably from when they are of the age 3 and above.

So ladies and gentlemen, we are now at the cross-roads. On one hand, we want to give our kids stress-free childhood lives. On the other, we might be doing them great injustice by not equipping them well enough for the challenges they will face academically, when we know everyone else is feeding their children with regular enrichment courses.

I wonder what the long-term implications to our society might be.
Last edited by ChiefKiasu on Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby phantom » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:43 pm

Both my niece and nephew is attending tuition, one K1 and 1 just started primary 1. And it seems like most primary school teachers expect that the kid go for tuition outside. A lot of extra free tuition by school when we used to get when I was young is no longer common.

It seems to me that the indication is that what the school teach is no longer sufficient and it is expected that kids take tuition outside. :x

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:51 am

phantom wrote:Both my niece and nephew is attending tuition, one K1 and 1 just started primary 1. And it seems like most primary school teachers expect that the kid go for tuition outside. A lot of extra free tuition by school when we used to get when I was young is no longer common.

It seems to me that the indication is that what the school teach is no longer sufficient and it is expected that kids take tuition outside. :x


Well, during my time, the concept of tuition was almost totally unheard of until when I was in Primary 4, then I realized there was such a thing. Or maybe I came from such a poor family that we never hear of such things :).

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Postby super_dad » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:41 am

my first tuition I had was only when I was in sec 4. I came from a poor family, so tuition fees are a luxury. These days, parents spend on tuition easily, given their concern to have their chid excel in school. In my opinion, the child should only go for tuition for the weaker subjects, and not to get higher than 90 marks sort. Children these days are a stressful lot.

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Postby jedamum » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:13 pm

super_dad wrote:my first tuition I had was only when I was in sec 4. I came from a poor family, so tuition fees are a luxury. These days, parents spend on tuition easily, given their concern to have their chid excel in school. In my opinion, the child should only go for tuition for the weaker subjects, and not to get higher than 90 marks sort. Children these days are a stressful lot.

tuition is different from enrichment. i reckon that the number of kids going for enrichment is more than those going for tuition, cos tuition is to revise those weak areas in school, while enrichment is supposed to prepare for those not-taught in school yet or teaching kids technique to overcome the difficult questions.
with the proliferation of brain-based training programmes and all sorts of enrichment programs in the market, a lot of kiasu parents will feel that they might be shortchanging their kid if they do not sign up for one or two. Documentary-like programmes depicting the 'Super Kids' (sponsored by so-and-so enrichment centres) did no good to ease our anxieties too.

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Postby jedamum » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:15 pm

ChiefKiasu wrote:
phantom wrote:Both my niece and nephew is attending tuition, one K1 and 1 just started primary 1. And it seems like most primary school teachers expect that the kid go for tuition outside. A lot of extra free tuition by school when we used to get when I was young is no longer common.

It seems to me that the indication is that what the school teach is no longer sufficient and it is expected that kids take tuition outside. :x


Well, during my time, the concept of tuition was almost totally unheard of until when I was in Primary 4, then I realized there was such a thing. Or maybe I came from such a poor family that we never hear of such things :).

parents last time had a hard time putting bread on the table, let alone let us go tuition. nowadays, dual income and single precious kid is the target of most enrichment centres.

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:15 pm

Well... the question is where does it end? Remember the bad guy in The Incredible's "evil plan"? He wants to sell to ordinary people devices that will make them super. So when everyone is super, then NOBODY is super, thereby reducing the mystique and value of being super in the first place. (See... there are deep philosophical meanings to be garnered from cartoons... so don't just ignore them :) )

The problem is, what happens to people who do not have the resources to buy the devices that make them super? Will they become 2nd class citizens? And if the government becomes pressured to subsidize enrichment courses for lower income people, are we going to have the same problem as we are having with health-care where there are complex means-testing to determine if a kid is eligible for subsidized enrichment courses!

This is the reason why I oppose the streaming of kids into what we think their potential is at a very early stage. Why label kids as geniuses or non-geniuses before they even understood what that means? Are geniuses good and non-geniuses bad? Unfortunately, the system that promotes this streaming make it sound desirable to be in the GEP (good) - otherwise you are just ordinary (bad). This in turn incentivize kiasu parents to use every means at their disposal to push their kids to make the GEP grade. So a vicious cycle is started with the end result that our children peak too soon for their own good, and gets completely stressed up by the process.

So we as parents of the future generations of Singapore's citizens need to band together and feedback to the government that we should shut down the GEP because of the social implications it is creating with parents trying to artificially super-charge their kids through all kinds of paid services!

Almost every childcare/brain training service offers the mantra: "Every kid is a genius". The unspoken prologue is: "Pay us first to try our techniques on the kid - if it works, great, if not, too bad... your kid is just not as gifted as the other kids."

So, buyer beware.
Last edited by ChiefKiasu on Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby jedamum » Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:50 pm

Geniuses aside, I still hope that hardwork pays at this day and age. Nowdays, it is not enough to be good in your academic work - you need to be able to excel in another area, be it Arts or Sports. So, in order to have time for Arts or Sports, one must at least be able to juggle the schoolwork with assuring grades.

I am not after the much coveted GEP status for my boys, I just want them to be at least not be doing foundation level subjects when the subject banding comes.

No deep pockets here for mindboggling mindmapping courses. :D

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Tuition - Love it or hate it?

Postby tianzhu » Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:34 am

[Moderator's note: Topics merged.]

Tuition - Love it or hate it?

Interesting letter to ST Forum on 4 June 08 concerning the tuition syndrome.

1) Are we are becoming so reliant and dependant on private tuition and enrichment classes? But what if you are not in the 'privileged group' who can afford them? What if you are a heartlander struggling to make ends meet?

2) The school should be a child's primary source of education. Now that tuition has become an almost non-negotiable necessity, does it mean the primary source has failed in its role?'

3) Will tuition lead to a dependency mentality, without it, the child will not be able to achieve desired results?

Please share your thought.

http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BForum/ ... 44162.html

June 4, 2008
THE TUITION SYNDROME
Schools should not rely on it and ministry should act
WHEN I attended a teacher-parent meeting because I was told that my Secondary 4 son had fared poorly in his school examinations, I was shocked. I expected to see a handful of parents and their children. Instead, it seemed as if the school had summoned all the parents.
When I questioned several teachers why so many of his classmates had also fared poorly, the standard responses were along the lines that my son's class was 'a very challenging class to teach'.
My son needed more help, I was told. Their suggestion was that 'he sign up for tuition lessons and attend all the remedial classes we have planned for the holidays'.
What is wrong with our education system today, where we are so reliant and dependant on private tuition and enrichment classes? This is great news for tuition centres and the enrichment centres like Mindchamps, Adam Khoo, SuperCamp for kids, Lorna Whiston, Julia Gabriel, Shichida and the lot, who charge very high fees and make big bucks due to the very real fear and desperation of parents who want their children to do well.
But what if you are not in the 'privileged group' who can afford the thousands of dollars needed for tuition? What if you are a heartlander struggling to make ends meet?
Will your child be able to keep up with children from more privileged backgrounds, whose parents shell out $2,000 to $3,000 every few months for various extra private tuition classes?
The present education system is counter-productive to producing well-educated and well-balanced students. Instead of enjoying studying, students are stressed out and failing in too many subjects.
The Ministry of Education must be more proactive in ensuring that students are less reliant on external tuition or enrichment classes, and ensure a well-balanced education for all.
________________________________________
'Everyone I know shoves her child from tuition centre to tuition centre.'
MRS JOHN YAP: 'My son entered Primary 1 this year, and I chose a school that I thought would be more holistic. But one teacher recently suggested that my son get tuition and learn the lessons ahead of the class so that by the time she gets to the lesson, my son can follow it. A check with some of my son's classmates also revealed that many parents would do their children's homework so that they can finish it on time. The children get tons of homework, frequent tests, and, yes, a list of homework for the June holidays which includes maths and English exercises, reading 10 story books, making a model of the school, producing a health booklet and writing a journal thrice a week. On top of all that, there is a friendly reminder that there will be Term 3 tests after the holidays! I hope my son's school is in the minority. Something is definitely amiss when there's so much homework that parents feel they have to do it for their kids just so their kids can cope, and where the solution given to improving a child's academic results is to get tuition. Now I understand why everyone I know shoves her child from tuition centre to tuition centre. My son is not attending any enrichment classes or tuition centres because I don't think they will make him a smarter or better person.'
'Tuition has become an almost non-negotiable necessity.'
MADAM CHOO SWEE LIN: 'My child is in Secondary 1. For the past six meet-the-parents sessions, I took in the teacher's feedback and did all that I could to help my child. But the seventh meeting turned out no different; it was another ?what's the problem with your child' session. The school should be a child's primary source of education. Now that tuition has become an almost non-negotiable necessity, does it mean the primary source has failed in its role?'
'Are these parents going to complain to their children's future bosses for giving them too difficult tasks?'
MR TAN GUANGFAN: 'I refer to Mrs Lisa Ng's letter, ?Why tuition centres for elite students flourish' (May 24). I am a former student of one of the elite schools she listed. Tuition can be useful but I do not think that students should be overly dependent on private tutors. I am disappointed that parents are blaming difficult examinations. Are these parents going to complain to their children's future bosses for giving them too difficult tasks? At 18, it is time for teenagers to learn to accept challenges and take failures in their stride.'
'This is the new education system: Children request tuition.'
MADAM LEE SIM LIAN: 'My daughter was very upset because she didn't do well in her exams and has asked for tuition. This is the new education system: Children have to request tuition because they think they have done badly.'
Last edited by tianzhu on Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby mintcc » Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:05 am

That really sound scary. I grew up wth tution since P3 but seems things have gotten much worst.

Wonder if this kind of system kills the child's joy for learning?

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