As a former primary school teacher, I have gone through the urgency of completing the syllabus before each examination while juggling many matters that do not involve classroom teaching.
This situation leaves teachers little time to give extra help to pupils who are weaker.
Singapore's high standard of living entails that both parents need to work to provide for the family.
Hence, parents find themselves unable to spend time coaching their own children, if they could at all, as the concepts and standards have risen to a level beyond what they have learnt.
Some questions in maths at the Primary 5 and 6 levels have made eyes pop; even above-average pupils need repeated drills to help them grasp how to solve these problems. Extra practice is necessary to ensure a good pass in the subject.
Since teachers do not have the luxury of time and parents cannot help much, what, then, can pupils do? Going for tuition is the natural answer.
Whether tuition yields results largely depends on pupils' attitudes towards learning and how motivated they are.
In conclusion, tuition is necessary and can be effective if pupils make full use of it. But parents still need to decide for themselves if tuition is the answer for their children, and not be influenced by societal pressure.
Cheoh Lai Ching (Madam)