Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Random thoughts: Tuition, tuitions

A follow-up from my previous blog. Would like to clarify I have nothing against tuition, many of my friends are in the industry. Anyway, below is an article I posted at valuebuddies sometime back, and still reflect my views on tuition. Views given are of my own and own capacity only.

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Let me share my views on tuition:

Tuition centers:
Those tuition centers that accept only As or required entry tests, if we are thinking about the same ones, are doing accelerated programmes, and have track records of producing A*, although I believe many who went to those already are A* calibre, If you do not have the foundation, you might not be able to follow. I am not justifying for anything, but it is there for a reason, and is providing a niche service.

Tuition in general:
Kids with tuition fall broadly into 4 categories.
1) Genuinely needed help, cannot cope with the syllabus 
2) Parents just wanted a study companion, to follow through their kids' work, be a answering machine if possible.
3) Pushing for the top and last mark.
4) Just afraid to be different, when the "whole world" has it, and I don't provide, am I a bad parent?

My personal views only:
2) and 4) are particularly harmful, and counterproductive. There is no clear goal or objective, maybe just for the parents to feel good or less guilt. It very often breeds dependence on tutors and "quick answers", instead of understanding the value of "self-discovery". Self-discovery is important as it is the ingredient for passion for learning and lifelong learning

3) Might overwhelm kids if there are not ready, (slow bloomers perhaps, or foundation that is not as strong). Even if they are academically capable of coping, they might be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work, think about study-life balance of kids too. We do not want to work till late at night, what makes you think the kids appreciate doing homework till late at night. Even if they can cope with the work and has time for fun, such highly competitive pursuit could easily lead to unbalanced focus of life. 

1) If you get a capable teacher who can customize lessons for your kid, make him improve his grades, you got a gem and keep him/her. Better results lead to better self-esteem and confidence, and away from distraction and despondency. But make sure they still RESPECT the teachers in school and do their work. 

I believe, our system can work without the shadow system of tuition. I know people will say I am just spouting politically correct answers. No, I am not, I am not saying no one fall through the cracks, there might be some, and there may be some valid reasons in 1) 

But Majority of the pupils, perhaps 80% should cope just as well or even better due to reasons i cited in 2), 3) and 4)

All comments are my personal views, speaking in my own personal capacity.

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