Parents attending math tuition?
How hard is primary school math these days? Very hard, apparently, and parents learnt it the hard way.
“Alamak, so difficult.”
On 6 December, thirty students attended lessons for eight hours. School was a multi-purpose room at Muhajirin Mosque, and the teacher was not from the Ministry of Education (MOE), but from Genius Young Minds, a centre specialising in primary school math. However, the students were not primary school students, but parents.
They learnt how to solve math problems typically encountered at the primary school level. But as they soon found out, math is not always easy. (Wait, has it ever been?) One such parent was Mohd Yusof Maruwi. His secondary school education could barely help him understand the math question in front of him. He commented:
“We were reminded that Singapore’s education system is tough and we have to know our children’s abilities.” As parents, we have to help them to chase their own dreams, not ours.”
It’s all about the money, money, money
Other parents attend such courses to better help their children with school work, contributing even more to Singapore’s already ballooning expenditure on tuition fees. Just last year, Singaporeans spent $1.1 billion on tuition, with handsome sums in the region of $1 million going to tutors such as millionaire physics teacher Phang Yu Hon. The Parents Mastery Workshop from Genius Young Minds is also seeing its popularity increase; from 20 parents four years ago to more than 100 now.
Singapore’s curriculum is not so simple after all. No wonder our exam papers sell out.
Are you now despairing about how Singapore might be on its way to becoming a Tuition Nation? Fret not, we’re not the only country obsessed with tuition. It’s apparently an Asian thing. 40,000 Chinese students travelled to Hong Kong in 2012 to take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SATS), with the trip costing SGD$1267 per person. Chinese tuition fees for the SATS cost more than SGD$10,000.
But will the exorbitant fees stop anyone?