TUITION PROS AND CONS: While some think tuition is a waste of time, others say it helps students keep up with lessons at school and score higher in exams.
I HAVE a few comments to make on your cover story Tuition: Burden or Blessing (Star Education, Feb 16). I am proud to say that up till Form Five last year I have not attended a single tuition class. No, I am not a nerd, I don’t study 24 hours a day but I do get quite good results, if I may say so myself.
On the other hand, all my friends attend tuition classes, from Additional Mathematics to Moral Education. Many of them would rush to tuition classes right after school and arrive home around 8 or 9pm, which means they would be in their school uniform from 6am till 9pm, more than 12 hours a day. (Phew! Think of the smell!).
After a hurried dinner, they still have to do their school homework and study, going to bed around midnight; that is, if they study fast and have very little homework.
Tuition classes aren’t necessarily always better than school. Many tuition centres have more than 50 students per class. My friends have to rush to tuition centres early so they can book their places. On top of that, they have to deal with other students who make noise, pass messages around and have romantic whispered conversations with their boyfriends/girlfriends.
Those having afternoon tuition say it’s the worst kind of torture. After a hard day at school, students struggle to keep their eyes open during tuition classes. A friend once told me she would sleep during school lessons so that she wouldn’t fall asleep later in the tuition centre. How can one study in a hot, humid, packed environment while trying hard not to fall asleep? I wonder.
As for me, I seldom miss an afternoon nap and I am always asleep after 11 every night, even during the SPM season.
Being free of tuition, I have more than enough time to sleep, do homework, study, revise, read novels and attend co-curricular activities. If a student pays close attention to teachers in school and revises what is taught every day, there really is no need for tuition.
Many students say tuition centres give out good notes and that you get more attention from the tuition teacher. What I say is that no notes are better than those done by the students themselves! Actually, school teachers do provide students with more than enough notes and they are always available after lessons or school hours if students have anything to ask.
So, the conclusion is, if students pay attention in school, parents can save a lot of money on tuition classes. Perhaps some students, who are poor in certain subjects, need tuition. But in my opinion, many students over-emphasise the importance of tuition. What they need is more self-confidence.