Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tuition vs No Tuition

A minister ever mentioned before "Tuition is not needed under our education system"  She received backslash from parents who currently have mid to upper primary kids or who's kids have just completed their primary school years recently. Why not, make her do the silly Math questions? Why not make our Education Minister do too? 

So, do our kids need to have tuition or not? 

This is my take - only if the kid needs it. You know your child better, I still believe that parents are the best teachers. However, I'm aware that not many mummies can leave their jobs to be a SAHM. Also not many SAHM are not as crazy and pro-education like me who is very hands on.
It doesn't mean that kids who have tuition score better than those who do not.
And why did I sent my older girl to tuitions then? I held back certain subjects until a later time when I can't manage, then I outsource. And although my girl has tuitions, I still do work with her. Afterall she only gets to see her tutors once a week. I take over some things which I can coach her in, and if I can't - I taichi to the teachers. I believe to educate a child, we need a close teamwork with the teachers in school and at home. 

Having tuition takes up time. I've seen it for myself, with a younger kid and an older kid I've been struggling to manage time between the two. When I plan a tuition, it must blend well with the other kid. But if one teacher tells me I need to change a schedule - OMG! it's mad. I can't change!! If I had one kid to manage, probably it'll be easier for me. I have friends who start to laden their kids with tons of classes in Kindergarten. Poor kids, they'll be burnt out even before Primary 6. ( No wonder we have more suicidal kids; more problematic kids. ) Anyway, out of concern I tell my friends to cut down their kids' classes. But they tell me "No... it's absolutely necessary!" Okay, I keep my mouth shut.
When the child gets older, supp classes, SYFs, extra practices etc.. Poor child is exhausted. It has come to such an agony when I scream at my girl to quickly finish up her school homeworks. (I need to stress the 's') We practically live each day just doing homework ; tuition work. 

Without tuition, the child definitely saves up time. All she needs to do is non-interrupted time after school's late dismissal to do her work at home. And if she has time to revise - GOOD!

Many a times I told my girl, she's really lucky to have me around the house to teach her when she don't understand anything. I have a working mom who complains to me that she has no time to help her girl in her work. Many a times, she comes back home at 7+ and sees that her girl's school homework is not done. Her girl doesn't understand what's going on in school. Oh my! 
I did explain to my girl, tutor only comes once a week how is she suppose to wait for the tutor. That's what some SAHM or FTWM with tutors do. But I don't. I stupidly take the burden of explaining to her when I can use the time to blog; to bake; to read my books; to re-study Japanese; to make hairbows; to basically nuah in my bed or watch TV.

Hmm...... it seems like school work is being thrown to girls to do without explanation. They think all kids have tuition outside? High ability kids? Well, I'm sure no matter how high ability they are, kids will still have some questions they don't know how to do. If they knew, they shouldn't be here they should be in GEP. 
In this example, I'm sure parents will find having a tutor is a necessity.

Some parents with young kids ask me in jest "you sure need to have tuition or not? Don't the school teach?" 
I can't comment much about languages, coz' languages is not a rote learning subject. You either can speak well or not; you either can write well or not.

However for subject like Math. It's a debate-able subject every year "PSLE Math Paper is hard this year." The textbooks the kids use - yes they're tested. Apart from that, they're also tested on HTO questions which are not in the books. Who's that idiot who came up with 'a bee flying from Flower A to B and another bee flying from Flower B to A at a speed of xxx km/h. Then the bee stop somewhere and continue flying and blah blah blah'. If I see the bee, I'll surely whack it dead. No need to find out anything.  
So exposure to all these kind of questions, which usually take up 4-5 marks, is extra by the schools. In girls' school, they have different booklets for different tiers. Girl being in first tier, gets exposed to all the difficult questions. Some parents have been complaining over the years since our girls were in P3 that their kids were not exposed to those difficult questions so they kindda remain in the same class throughout the remaining years in school. So, is it fair to them? In that case, I feel having a tutor is necessary. A 1-1 is advised, going to those high notch high ability tuition centres will not help.    
I agree that banding classes is necessary. Imagine the poor teacher with varied capability students in the class struggling to go slow or fast in covering topics. And if a higher capable kid is not being challenged in the correct setting, will slack. I always remember the incident when che-che's P1 FT told me she knew everything was being taught and she was made to explain to the whole class. The whole class stared at her in bewilderment. Needless to say the teacher then realised why my girl always go into Lala-land in class. So, did I load her too soon? Is it my fault? Ehh.... I don't think so. 
Conclusion : 
Every parent must know what their child needs. Certain famous tuition centres may work for others but not your kid. It took me years to find a good English tutor for my girl. My girl like the Chinese tutor, maybe coz she's not strict? Hmm..... kids are the ones facing the teachers they must be comfortable with them. Teachers will not spare them either.     

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