Quality of the service's amenities (1=Poor,5=Excellent) 4
Affordability of the service (1=Expensive, 5=Affordable) 3
Effectiveness of the service (1=Not effective, 5=Very effective) 4
There are a few branches of The Learning Lab (TLL) across the island. I went to their headquarters in United Square to make my enquiry.
I was attracted to the nice setting at the frontline customer service counter. The ambience is like going to a bank. Not many enrichment centres have such an organized queue system. The lady who attended to me is well-groomed and professional. However, she must be relatively new as she referred to her colleague several times before answering my queries. When I told her I was looking for a fun enrichment program for my child, she candidly replied, “Oh no, not fun…they do proper learning here.” She went on to provide me with the information I need in a professional manner. Printouts of the curriculum details were given for my reference.
This is what I gathered - most TLL teachers are experienced ex-MOE teachers, who follow the MOE syllables closely and teach the topics ahead of curriculum. Generally, students are allocated to TLL classes based on their school marks achieved in the subject. For Science, students are grouped by school clusters, due to the sequence of Science topics taught in those schools. For example, SJI and ACS primary students will be in the same TLL science class due to their schools teaching the topics in similar order. I was enquiring for a primary 5 class. It cost $380 for 4 lessons a month. In addition, there is a deposit of $120 and registration fee of $85.46. Classes are two hours long and have a maximum of 12 students.
On the administrative aspect, trial classes are not available and you have to commit for a minimum of one term. One TLL term comprises of 13 weeks which begin one week in advance of the MOE school term. You are allowed 3 replacement classes at any of their branches. Wednesday is their first day of the week. So, if you missed your class this week, you have until the following Tuesday to attend the same lesson. In the United Square branch, there is a CCTV at the entrance, so the movements of students in and out of the premise are monitored.
Overall, I feel TLL will be effective for students who are looking for ways to excel in the MOE curriculum. TLL fees are a tad higher than most other centres but from their brochure, result-oriented parents would certainly find it an added benefit that TLL incorporate best features of the Gifted Education Program (GEP) and mainstream curriculum in their lessons. During school holidays, a wide variety of holiday programmes are also available.