Even though many students dislike going to school, there are many reports which state that they enjoy and want to attend tuition lessons.
In fact, learning at tuition centres seems to have superseded learning in schools, with many students seeing improvement in their academic results only after attending tuition classes.
The general sentiment is that tuition is better than school lessons. As a result, many well-meaning activities in schools that help build character and values are relegated to the back seat.
This is a pity because the building of character and values should come first.
It is impossible to stop parents from sending their children for tuition, or to stop more tuition centres from opening.
With more Ministry of Education-trained teachers working in tuition centres, perhaps, in time to come, schools can consider operating differently.
After six years of formal education, secondary school students can be allowed to take charge of their own academic learning, according to a standard syllabus.
They would still attend secondary school, though the school hours could be shortened and be dedicated to character-building activities, such as sports, music and art, community service, presentations, and other team-building activities. Science experiments and design and technology activities can also be done.
Academic learning can take place at home or at tuition centres.
Weekly tests and semester examinations should continue to be held, to gauge students' progress. Those whose performances are on the borderline will be required to attend lectures and tutorials in school.
Perhaps, with such a change, the perception of students towards school might change and they may enjoy going to school after all.
Grace Chua Siew Hwee (Madam)