Tuition in Singapore : Do we need it?


Parents - Are you ready to give up tuition?


MOE had recently introduced changes in the educational system to reduce school based assessments and create a Holistic Development profile of kids. The main impact will be those in Primary school with selected stages of secondary school impacted.


Here is a summary




 The Key Points
1 ) Lesser exams for Primary school and Secondary 1 Children
2) Using qualitative descriptive descriptors to report student learning in all subjects in P1 and P2

While the above is a positive shift towards less academic emphasis and allows a little more conducive environment for learning, it may not necessary change the mindsets of parents. One of the 'unspoken; extra curriculum activities after school would be tuition.  To some parents, the maxim towards tuition is ' The More the Merrier' . This is especially so during the pre-primary and primary school levels. However , tuition does create an imbalance in society . Given the high fees , not everyone can afford to have one. In fact, in some households, tuition is the BIGGEST monthly expense and even surpass housing. In this sense, tuition will not benefit all as only families who could afford it would 'reap its benefits' . 

At times, tuition is more of a bane than a boon. Kids have to sacrifice free time that can be use to explore their interest in lieu of tuition. You may end up raising a generation of academics that have no other talents.

With that said, we think these 10 changes to regulate Tuition are necessary to change mindset of the Kiasu parent.

10 Suggested changes to Tuition
 1 Admit only students whose grades at 60 and below
Tuition should only be given to those who need it most. Any children scoring 90 and above should be bar from tuition. Better still, limit tuition to students with grades lower than 60

2 Tuition to be at only 1 hour per week per subject
There are tuition centers that last 3 hours long per class. That means on top of a child spending 7 hours in school, they have to take an additional 3 hours of tuition. If an adult only works from 9-5(8 hours), why should a child be subjected to a 10 hours marathon up to 4 times a week ( for 4 subjects) or more?

3  Eliminate tuition during holidays ( applies for public holidays too)
There are tuition centers that have school EVERY week of the year, regardless of holidays. There is hardly any breaks for parents and children. While the rationale is to prepare the child for the next term, it may be a guise to milk more fees. Tuition class schedule should follow school terms with the same breaks as school holidays

4 Charge one price tuition fee. No more exorbitant fees for tuition
 Charge the same fee for tuition . No one should charge a premium to make it an affordable option for ALL families.

5 Discard with admission test
 There are tuition center that only admits students that pass their 'admission ' test. This is to ensure that they can maintain their ' high' standards. It is totally against the notion of taking tuition to improve grades . 

6 Admission to be based on address to ensure spaces for everyone . Every tuition is a good tuition center
 Like every school is a good school, every tuition center should be a good tuition center, That said, admission should be by address. There had been cases where kids need to travel cross island just to attend the tuition center with a good reputation instead of choosing one closest to home.

7 Tuition to work with schools in the vicinity . Same spelling / assignments so no overwork
 Often , students would be doing additional assignments and even a different set of spelling per week.  What is means is that the child would end up learning double the work learn from school. More often than not, it gives unnecessary pressure to the little ones.

8 No more than 2 tuition per week limited to only the 2 worse subjects
 With tuition for English, Maths, Chinese and Science, it would mean a child would effectively have only 1 day of rest (discounting weekends where they have to complete the work from school and tuition. Add CCA to the mix and there will be on break for the poor kid. It is time to set a tuition limit.

9 Enrichment classes can be taken in lieu of tuition . Students gets an automatic grade upgrade if they choose enrichment over tuition
 Enrichment classes provide a more holistic approach to educating a child. It allows children to explore and cultivate their interest. If parents are willing to give up tuition for enrichment classes, there should be an automatic school grade boost if this path is chosen. After all , it is in line with the proposed holistic approach by MOE,

10 Review school system . If it is working , there should not be any tuition . 
 The more draconian way is to ban tuition altogether. To do that, we should ensure school provide the complete learning experience thus eliminating the need for additional tuition after school. Tuition is a daily staple of Singapore kids, but it is not necessary the way of life for children in other countries. With 7 in 10 parents in Singapore sending kids to Tuition  and more than 40 % sending preshool children there,  it implies the normal education system is lacking  and thus the need for extra classes to make up for the deficient .

So, are you ready to give up tuition?

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