Not all children suffer because of tuition

Tuition can be beneficial and need not be a source of undue pressure for pupils, provided it is not excessive ("Let's not make our children sick with drive for success" by Dr Quek Koh Choon; last Tuesday).

It is perfectly all right for pupils to have tuition in the one or two subjects they are weak in as school classes can be too large to provide the individual attention which some pupils may need.

Years ago, my daughter had one-to-one tuition in a subject that she was relatively weaker in and found her grades showing a marked improvement. She also told me that she could understand the concepts better after tuition.

Dr Quek's point, that children develop "a distaste for so-called education, homework and more assignments", may be a sweeping statement.

As a full-time tutor, I have come across parents who have told me that their children enjoyed my lessons and some children gave me Teachers' Day cards. With every child being unique, some may actually thrive under some pressure.

There are two sides to the issue.

I agree with Dr Quek that tuition may deprive children of sleep and leisure, given the tight schedules they already face at schools.

But, when I look back at my own school days in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I wonder how much better I might have performed if tuition had been prevalent then.

I would not have minded "trading" some leisure for better grades.

There are payoffs for good grades, both tangible and intangible, such as scholarships, better-paying jobs, respect from others, self-actualisation and making one's parents proud.

As they say: No pain, no gain.

Low Siew Hua (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2016, with the headline 'Not all children suffer because of tuition'. Print Edition | Subscribe