By The Keys Academy
It’s a fact that Singaporeans are no strangers to competition. Whether you are a student aspiring to enter some of the nations’ top schools, a fresh graduate vying for a stint with a distinguished firm or a parent doing your utmost to guarantee your child’s academic success, the kiasu-ness in us demands that we come out on top of the competition.
However, when more and more parents are sending their kids for tuition classes years in advance, one cannot help but wonder, has “academic kiasu-ism” truly gone out of control in Singapore? A recent article in The Straits Times seems to suggest this; and by extension, has our perceived reliance on tuition classes made education less enjoyable for students today?
This trend is not entirely doom-and-gloom – it is a sign that, to quote the article, “[more well-educated parents] want to play a hands-on role in their children’s education”. Parents play an integral role in fostering a child’s development, and that more parents are getting involved in their child’s educational well-being indicates the awareness of that critical responsibility.
Parents should be mindful of the fact that, when signing up their children for enrichment or accelerated lessons, their children’s interests and abilities should be their compass.
However, those are points for another day. The issue at hand is if private education is truly beneficial to a student’s learning. To that, the answer would be – yes, with certain qualifications.
While schools and schoolteachers are constrained by syllabuses, bureaucratic measures and performance indicators, tuition centres need only concern themselves with one objective – transforming learning into a more enjoyable and more practical experience. Instead of simply getting students to remember and understand what they study, the opportunities provided by tuition centres allow students to analyse, evaluate and even create new original work. English language classes with The Keys Academy, for example, allow students to critically evaluate real-world issues, and texts, by participating in speeches, presentations and mini class-debates.
Students can only take advantage of a unique learning environment if the learning is particularly customised to their strengths and weaknesses, and that is another feature which private education excels in. A personalised teaching system transforms education-as-transaction into education-as-dialogue by involving students’ feedback and needs in developing a syllabus. Effective tuition centres are able to not only promote a more positive learning experience, but also adapt lessons to better suit the needs of students. In a conventional class setting, this would be practically impossible.
Ultimately, while tuition centres may offer a greater level of personalised education, constant feedback and more flexible lessons, parents need to ensure their children are truly benefiting from additional classes. Parents only want the best for their children, and naturally wish for them to have the upper hand. But more tuition should not lead to more stress. If tuition is “enrichment”, then let it be that – a more enriching and fulfilling learning experience.