Tuition vs no tuition
Posted by: Brigitte Rozario, 3-Jul-2011
Should primary schoolchildren go for tuition? Some parents believe they need the additional help only for subjects they are weak in, and often it is the language subjects. Others say it is not necessary at such a young age as they would then be missing their childhood.
Let's hear what three parents have to say:
Rina Thiagu-Kler, mother of two children, aged five and seven:
"My children don't go for tuition at the moment, but they are involved in other activities which are not available at their school, such as speech and drama, musical theatre and swimming.
My eldest daughter, Harvynna, is quite academically-inclined. As such, she is able to do reasonably well with minimal guidance. However, with the change where Maths and Science is now taught in Bahasa Malaysia, she needs some guidance and support, which I am able to provide - by explaining the keywords and terminologies.
I don't want to send her for tuition at such a young age as I don't want her to be dependent on external help. I believe that she should be trained to be an independent learner. I check her school work weekly to see if she needs help in any areas and we work together to improve these areas.
I support her school work with additional workbooks, which are easily available. Through these exercises, she gets the necessary practice needed.
I don't think it is essential for primary schoolchildren to go for tuition. If parents are able to commit their time to help their children, that would be best. Workbooks can be used to supplement school work for additional practice and reinforcement of what has been taught.
As mentioned above, in my personal opinion, sending a child for tuition from Primary One itself, would make a child dependent on tuition. However, having said that, there are cases, where tuition may be an option. For example, I have many non-Mandarin educated friends who send their children to Chinese schools. In these cases, they may need to send their children for tuition. Also, competition in school these days is really keen and if the child is struggling in school, tuition may be the solution, if parents don't have the time.
Therefore, I believe that the need for tuition is on a case by case basis, but in my case, I would try to avoid it unless absolutely necessary. Primary schoolchildren should not be sent for tuition just because everyone else is going.
Class sizes in most public schools are getting larger - some schools have up to 50 students per class. I doubt that the teacher would be able to give each child the individual attention that they need. Every child learns differently and some may catch up faster than the rest. Parents should also play a role by monitoring their child's homework and progress, if possible. This would help identify any areas that need attention from the beginning.
Generally, kids these days are stressed as their day is filled with numerous activities - from singing, dancing, music to sports. If they enjoy it, then why not? If tuition is done for the right reasons, then the child would not be stressed. But, if a child is sent for tuition because everyone is going, then it could be to the detriment of the child."
Ling Siew Teng, a tuition teacher, who has three daughters aged seven, 12 and 14:
"Currently, I give tuition to kindergarten children, aged four to six years old.
I also send my own children for tuition, but only when they are in Primary Four. I guide them from Primary One to Three since I can still cope with the syllabus. I only send them for Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia tuition and revise the other subjects with them.
I treat their tuition as revision because they seldom do revision.
I think that it is not important and not necessary for primary schoolchildren to go for tuition.
The teachers should do their best but some are not responsible and assume that parents will send the child for tuition if their child is weak. I have true life experience with teachers not teaching well in school and later telling the children to go to his tuition centre!
I do think that parents are overstressing the kids by sending them for tuition from a young age as they hardly have time to relax and they will miss their childhood life."
Kalwant Kaur, a freelance insurance agent with four children aged three years to 12 years:
"Three of my children go for tuition twice a week for two hours.
Firstly, I find it difficult to cope
with the current education system which keeps changing. That's why I
send them for tuition to help them with homework and revision.
Secondly, I have no maid so I am mostly occupied with taking care of
my youngest daughter and the household chores.
I think it is important for primary schoolchildren to go for tuition. The class is so big that the teachers in school just do their part in teaching and can't guide the few who can't understand - and teachers nowadays have started using the phrase 'go and ask your tuition teacher if you can't understand'. As they themselves give tuition, they encourage the students to go for tuition.
I don't think I am overstressing the children because they need to cope with the current education system which is challenging."
I believe sending children for tuition is just giving them a solution for not paying attention in class. They will just rely on asking the tuition's teacher if they have missed out anything in class.
They should take on the responsibility of paying attention in class and ask when facing any doubts in their lessons.
Sending them to tuition not only ease the school's teachers burden but giving them earn extra income. As a result, many school teachers are teaching at "tidak apa" (irresponsiblity) attitude.
Government should put a stop for school's teachers giving tuition outside school. They should be sack from their job if catch as a stern lesson for them.
I personally feel that whether going to tuition or not depend very much on the parents commitment to their own children. If the parents can spend a certain amount of time to their children to revise on their work, by all means, tuition are not necessary. Afterall, the parents can give them 100% coaching.
I would rather put my kids classes which are not applicable in school, which is more beneficial.
I think we adults sometimes put too much comparison with our peers, so much so that we always debate on this matter of should or should not go for tuition.
I believe it is an individual thing. We should not pass comments to friends about whether it is good or not good for their children to go for tuition. Each parent is capable of understanding their own children's potentials and weaknesses and should make a judgement from there. Not all kids will response or need the same methods.
From the experience of my own two kids, they have different characteristics. I try to give them a well balanced range of activities between extra-curricular activities and academics. I only give them tuition when needed for particular subjects that they are weak in as I am working mum as time is limited.
I do see by giving them tuition, it is a burden to them as my girl enjoys it herself an has more confidence facing her academics and at the same time enjoys her other activities such as ballet, piano and swimming.
So in conclusion I would say, don't worry how others think or say about your parenting skills or decisions. Only you know your kid best and will give them the best you can out of your love for them.
My son is in Primary one in a Chinese school this year. Since I'm non Chinese educated, I have to send him for tuition in Chinese, Maths & Bahasa Malaysia. Although I am a stay at home mum & have all the time to teach him, he will refuse to listen or learn when I teach him Bahasa Malaysia.
I believe, whether a child needs tuition or not, it all depends on his personality whether he has the initiative to learn from parents or the teachers.
I am a mother of 5 kids, aged 10, 8, 5, 2 and 7 mths.
I have never send any of my older kidsfor tuition.
Firstly I believe that children need to experience the most from their childhood. If their childhood is based only in their education and what the parents arranged for them such as music, ballet, tuition and etc.....I think fun and leisure will only be in their dreams.
My eldest son is in Primary 4 and goes to a chinese school but I am unable to help him in this language. And I do not send him for tuition either. But academically he is above average, top 40 out of 500 students in the school. This is over the fact that I do get numerous amount of revision books obtained from bookstores for him to practice and learn. I find this method much better and effective as he is able to exercise discretion, planning and self discipline to monitor his own revision and to ensure that he is able to cope with the high volume of homework from school. I believe that the practices he does in the revision books are far better than spending time for tuition plus this saves a lot in terms of time and cost.
Since the eldest brother has set the example, my 2nd and 3rd child has no problems coping with their homework and studies.
As a busy mother at home, I do not have time to sit with them whilst doing homework but training them to be independent, seeking for help when necessary and self discipline to sit alone to complete their homework.
However occasionally I will check on all homework and progress of each child. My constant reminder to my school going children is that "Mummy doesn't know chinese, so please pay attention in school and ask questions whenever you do not understand". so this is an understood statement that now I enjoy the times when my children teaches me something I do not know. Fun time for them too.
I do not believe in over-stressing our children with academic tasks at a very young age, Primary One to Three is definitely very young. They are already attending school for half of the day and some are also attending religious school the remaining half. Homework is a big part of the children's life, even kindergarten gives several pages of homework to 4-6 year olds. Having said that, I do agree tuition becomes a necessity under certain circumstances such as to compensate for lack in quality of teaching of some teachers, parents have limited time to guide the children or cannot guide due to more complex syllabus, little attention given to weak pupils due to the size of the classroom. My opinion is tuition is not a blanket requirement, and should be on case to case basis. However, parents should not pressure their children by sending them to all sorts of tuition class just because they are not among the top 3 students.
My son is 14 years old now and he's not been to any tuition class since young except art class & guitar lessons. His studies and shool results are so far very good. I trained him from young to finish all the school homeworks once he gets home. After that he does his revision and later allow time for either computer games or tv sessions. I believe that it's not necessary to send kids for tuition if the parent can spend quality time with your child and guide them along the way. As a parent, you need to provide a prepared environment for the child to develop, to expolre, to experiment and most importantly to enjoy childhood. Childhood only comes once in a lifetime. Let the child enjoy and be happy. When the child is happy, he will be hungry for knowledge and the parents must be around to provide guidance and give the child freedom - freedom within limits! A child who grows up holistically (total development), will become a better citizen in future, rather than a child who is pushed to excel only academically. I think we Malaysians should not be too kiasu and kiasi like the Singaporeans.
There is a growing trend for parents to send their primary school kids for tuition. Is it due to the “kiasu” attitude that results them to be afraid to lose out or is it due to the increased competitiveness our society has become?
Children now spend almost half of the days in school studying without much rest and if they are sent for tuition after school, they would definitely be exhausted to the maximum! This could result in poor health from overworking and as they are tired, this may result in them unable to pay attention during tuition classes. The tuition teacher might not like their attitude and scold or punish them for not paying attention and this will make them hate that particular subject.
It all depends on the acceptance level of the children to tuition. It takes time for the child to be responsible for their own studies and primary school might not be an ideal starting age. Well, if school isn’t good enough, parents can always home-school!
There's no right or wrong answer to this discussion, and I think that parents should understand their childrens' own potentials and learning needs.
Having grown up in the erra where getting more numbers of A's set you apart from the rest, securing that all important scholarship and a place to do your choice of course in a top university, I can undertand the importance of this discussion.
I grew up studying all my subjects in Bahasa Melayu and when I did my Alevels, obviously everything was thought in English. To be honest, I didnt find it exceedingly difficult at all with the transition. I suppose you just need to have a reasonable grasp of both BM and English to accomodate the changing education system in Malaysia. I dont think this should be a reason for sending children for extra tutorial lessons during their free time.
Having said that, if you feel that attending tutorial lessons for subjects your children are weak in will boost their self confidence and improve their understanding and performance in that particular subject, I think that it totally acceptable as well.
Know you children well, let them shape their own lives and discover their individual potentials!
whether or not to send children to tuition classes depends on the parents themselves. some parents may find it easy to guide their children at home but some may not. as these parents who can't, they have to find other options such as tuition classes. yet, as adults, we are not bound from learning what our children learn in school. this means that we can still guide them but we ourselves need to prepare ourselves with the commitment to learn what they are learning in school. with the advancement of information technology, it is not a hassle to get extra information to help us understand subjects learned by our children better.
My eldest will be in std 3 next year. She doesn't go to any tuition. My husband and I would guide her every evening. What dissapointed us is the teachers from her school do not "really teach" in school as they hv their own tuition classes at home. They wld advise the parents to send their kids for tuition. Kids will go to their hse for tuition esp. Bahasa Malaysia. However, we let our daughter progresses at her own pace.
tuitions are a good idea.I go for 5 tuitions,2 per day.I used to get 0 & 1 on 10 in my exams,but now i get 7&8,since i started going for tuitions.I am not shy to say this,but I go for maths,science,english,and hindi tuitions
i go for all subject tuitions...
I am an indian expat in UAE.
tuitions are not the worst thing ever.
I go for tuitions in my school uniform itself at times
going to tuition is the wastage of money and time
students should take responsibility to paying attension in class and ask the question if u r facing any doubtin their lessons
i think tuition & self-study is a complementary with each other.