Guard against over-learning

I read with concern the report about parents sending their children for tuition during the December holiday ("School's out, but the lessons go on"; Dec 12, 2016).

It is understandable that some students need holiday tuition to close the gap in knowledge. But for those who can already manage the curriculum, attending such courses would do more harm than good.

When students over-learn in tuition centres, school becomes a place where teachers merely rehash what was already taught to them. This causes students to become bored in class.

Excessive tuition also subtly perpetuates the message that learning is merely a means to an end, and it is scoring well in examinations that ultimately matters.

This is at odds with the Education Ministry's goal of nurturing an intrinsic desire to learn and to inculcate a spirit of lifelong learning.

Parents should send their children for tuition only if they absolutely need help to catch up.

Raphael Niu Zi Yuan, 12,

Primary 6 pupil

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2017, with the headline 'Guard against over-learning'. Print Edition | Subscribe