Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuition: 90 marks is never enough

The people cannot cure this disease of tuition on their own. The government do not want to go beyond talking and persuading the people about it. Looks like it would be nature that would bring this to an end.

But tuition will become a political problem for the government first before nature can successfully address it. It is just unwise and short sighted if the government think this issue can be left alone to resolve itself. The later they act the fewer the options and the less rational and sensible the solutions. So much for a far seeing government.

Assuming that somehow the government manage to avoid doing something about this - small chance, in the end parents and pupils will discover that beyond a limit which we are already close to, tuition bring negative returns. They will learn this when they look for jobs or climb the corporate ladder. The first sign of trouble is grades inflation.

Much of tuition is about besting exams. Tests and measuring performance have the habit of turning education into a competitive sports of working for the highest scores and depriving avenues of learning that are hard to score or could not be properly measured. In other words, studying to the tests will eventually destroy education.

My children have no tuition. We belong to the coterie of parents who manage to spare the time to teach the kids how to think. As a result their school performance keep getting better as they go up the educational ladder. They had tuition for Chinese when they were younger but all the effort was focused on bolstering their PSLE T-scores with less than satisfactory outcomes. I wasn't willing to trade scores for hatred of the language. I wasn't willing to see them obsess over 90 marks and more. If I had then today they are likely to under perform and frustrated. On the other hand they might be very motivated but for all the wrong reasons like the girl in the picture. Then they will enter working life with false confidence and get a huge rude shock that their studying skills are no good for the world of work. Many scholars will also suffer this shock but later in their careers because the system protects and give them many more chances to fail. Fortunately for some, they learned in time, but what a wasteful and unfair system. Some never learn but the civil service is large enough to find safe and high paying positions for them. I am sure many of us have come across such types in government. Just ask Jack Sim.

The ill effects of tuition do not show up for a generation, much longer than the long term horizon of this government. So they don't care. That is how long nature puts a stop to tuition, which is far too late.

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully the people will understand a simple phrase: To what end?