Voices

Why I don’t send my children for tuition

From

Vivien Tan

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Published: September 19, 4:02 AM
Updated: September 19, 4:15 AM

I refer to the report, “MPs call for closer look at private tuition industry” (Sept 17). I am not an advocate of tuition, and my children have never had tuition.

While my daughter in Primary 5 is an average student, I do not foresee a need to benchmark her results against her sister — who was in the top 10 per cent of the Primary School Leaving Examination cohort last year — and send her for tuition to ace the examinations.

I believe in giving my children a holistic education, balancing academic results with character development, moral values and their passion in the arts.

I was shocked when my younger daughter said recently that she is probably the only one in class not having tuition. Some of her classmates even have two tutors for every subject.

It is shocking that households here spent S$820 million on tuition in 2008. The money could be put to better use, such as art and music classes, saving for university and family holidays.

I trust our education system and the curriculum the Education Ministry has developed over the years. Coupled with qualified teachers, I believe that every school will put in its best to equip pupils with a good understanding of all academic subjects.

Doing well in school has a lot to do with self-discipline and little to do with the number of tuition classes one attends, if teachers are doing their jobs, pupils are attentive and parents are motivating and supervising their children and their schoolwork.

With a heavy workload in school, co-curricular activities, supplementary classes and other school-related activities, having tuition would leave children with little time for leisure and homework. Without tuition, my children have an invaluable asset: More time for family bonding.

Perhaps it is time to regulate the private-tuition industry. Many tuition centres advertise that they produce Singapore’s top pupils. While this could be true, it gives the misconception that those who do not go for tuition would fare worse than those who do.