Tuition centres go beyond academics

I was surprised to read Mr Ler Boon Kwang's letter (Better teaching in schools will curb need for private tuition; May 12).

While I agree that tuition is popular in our society and that not going for tuition will allow students to have more time for extra-curricular activities, I feel that an outright ban on tuition is too extreme.

Contrary to claims, tuition centres do not teach the same syllabus as schools.

In fact, while schools are focused on academic knowledge and skills, tuition centres can focus on the less academic side of things and can bring out the values side of education.

For example, at the tuition centre that I attend, I have been taught knowledge that is applicable not only to the subject but also to life.

It seems that the problem lies in equating academic success or failure with success or failure in life.

This ties in with the argument that tuition is a "need", since some people see having tuition as necessary to bring about academic success.

But, in reality, tuition is not, and will never be, a need, as the belief that academic failure leads to failure in life is simply wrong.

In order to curb the tuition craze, Singaporeans must first adjust their mindsets towards education.

We must see the education system as a transport system which will drop you off at success no matter the route you take, not a system where only one route leads to success, with the rest all leading to failure.

Lam Yu Han, 14

Secondary 3 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2018, with the headline 'Tuition centres go beyond academics'. Print Edition | Subscribe