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Harsh Reality About Tuition

Updated on January 3, 2015

What happened to me

Tuition is a common phenomenon in Singapore, if you're a mainstream student in the system, almost everyone around you take tuition classes to boost their grades. However, are people aware of the problems it may cause to the students? I'll explain my stand in the later part of this post.

I took tuition classes since primary school, from primary to secondary 4. My mum is willing to spend the hundred bucks each month, just to secure my merits and she is not the only one in the vicinity. I always thought tuition was helpful, and aids me in my studies but as I gradually depend less on my tuition teachers, I realised tuition is merely an alarm clock to shake me out of my sweet dreams and spur me to move on.

I believe that many poor performing singaporean students do have the intellectual capacity to score well in exams but they just do not have the resolution to put in their best in whatever they're doing. Or we simply call this laziness at work. On the other hand, tuition mandates the lazy student to complete the given revision work and force them to internalise whatever is in the syllabus and hence leading to producing what they call "high achievers".

I'm not trying to criticise this way of getting the coveted qualifications but are we breeding dependent learners or independent learners? I concur with the latter and if since young, people are living their life the way they are guided to, chances are they would end up with a life without a sense of direction and may rely on others often. (above statement excludes those who have genuine passion in learning the subjects taught in school and thus attend tuition classes to develop their ability in these areas) Click here for articles supporting my stand.

What's the current situation?

What will happen to the poor students who can't afford tuition and do not perform well in exams?
They can only try their best.

Honestly, not all poor students are able to sought regular help from their school teacher since the teacher to students ratio in mainstream Singapore schools is generally 1: 80. (considering a teacher has several classes to teach) As students advance through the education system, poor and academically weak students find it harder and with greater inertia to score a decent grade in tests and exams. Eventually, there would be a portion of these students, facing difficulty in entering the university of their choice or even entering a university itself, not to mention that there is an increase in competition from foreign students fighting for the same scholarships, same university admission spots as we are.

Therefore, when the students do not enter universities and obtain a degree for higher paying jobs, isn't tuition indirectly causing a widening income disparity between the lower and the upper income group families?

However, the government is doing nothing to control the situation or at least address the growing statistics of tuition centres being set up and more students opting for supplementary lessons at these centres. Hopefully Singapore's education system will adjust accordingly to the changing demands of the economy and put forth benefits for all students in Singapore.

in Singapore's education system, I trust.

Reference articles :


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