Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuition centres make students lazy and rowdy in schools

THE tuition business has grown into a multi-million ringgit industry. Tuition centres were unheard of in the 1960s, but their numbers started to increase in the 1970s, followed by a tremendous rise in the 1980s. In Johor, for example, housing estates, have one or two tuition centres. It looks as though parents do not mind if these tuition centres do not provide quality education, as long as their children get a place to study. Parents are willing to spend money to send their children to tuition centres to ensure that they score straight As. It’s as if tuition is an indispensable part of education. Many do not realise that tuition makes students neglect what is taught in schools. They will sleep in class or get rowdy as they think their tuition teachers will repeat the same topics. Therefore, what is the purpose of listening twice?

As a result, teachers will lose their interest to teach, and worse, start giving tuition on the side to make extra money. In the end, teachers focus more on their tuition than on their school load. I know of teachers who insist that their students attend their tuition classes to be taught the syllabus completely.

Hence, students who do not want to be left behind go for the classes. Demand for tuition is higher for critical subjects like Bahasa Malaysia, English, Additional Mathematics, pure science subjects and Principles of Accounts.

Some schools in Johor Baru also offer tuition at night for their students under various guises, such as projects organised by the Parent-Teacher Association or as part of ministry-funded programmes. The quest to obtain better results has led parents to get their children to attend tuition, although there are genuine cases when children need guidance after school. And, there are also those who take extra classes out of peer pressure, or they want to be better prepared for examinations.

Call it what we may, tuition is a burden on students. It’s like a parallel education system. The tuition culture has carved a niche for itself and in some states, like Johor, it’s a big thing. Furthermore, tuition centres also prefer former school teachers, ex-government servants or pensioners from the education department, former examiners, or textbook or revision book writers. Despite the increasing cost of tuition fees, parents seek private tutors and tuition centres to help their children. Perhaps, policymakers, educationists, and think tanks could find a way to not have students rely on tuition.

This is in the best interest of the nation.

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