Anyone living in Singapore will understand that it is a fast paced and competitive nation and no one is spared from the immense pressure that Singaporeans face. Even from young, children are thrown into this competitive scene where their standing amongst their classmates may come from their exam results.
As our next generation of Singaporeans grapple with exam stress and from the high demands and expectations of their parents and teachers, parents and teachers themselves are also not spared as they feel obliged to help their children by exchanging information on how to get their children into more prestigious schools and teachers are being compared with each other in the staff office or teachers’ meetings.
Current trend of Chemistry tuition
The Chemistry tuition scene has also stepped up its game in recent years. A survey conducted by The Straits Times in 2019, for instance, revealed that more than half of all primary school going children start to attend tuition classes at the age of 7. On top of that, more than 80% have already gone through private tuition classes in one form or another when they are in their upper primary level.
Though there has long been a moniker for Singapore parents deemed as being “kiasu”, they cannot help but succumb to societal and external pressure for their child to do them proud even as they acknowledge that children nowadays do not have much of a pleasant childhood with so many ongoing supplementary classes which do not help the cause of providing a holistic education for their child. When they sign up their child for Chemistry tuition classes, it is with kind intentions that their child can be supported by their tutors to help them get better at the subject.
Tuition has been recognised as a multi-billion dollar industry in Singapore, which only goes to show how much emphasis parents view their child’s education as. The Straits Times poll, which was done by a research company Milieu Insight, goes on to show that group tuition was ranked first in the list, out of the 235 parents with children aged between 7 and 12. This outcome is synonymous with the growing number of tuition centres that are popping up across the island as demand for group tuition continues to grow.
What has our Ministry of Education done for the Chemistry tuition scene?
Even though the Singapore Ministry of Education has tried to alleviate the situation by doing away with mid year exams for secondary school students amongst other measures, that has done little to dampen Singapore parent’s drive to send their child for tuition classes.
In fact, some measures of reducing the content in the Chemistry syllabus while making the examinations harder for students have backfired as the decline in students’ results have worried parents enough to continue to register their child for not one, but sometimes even two Chemistry tuition session per week in order to help improve their grades.
What are schools doing that allows for continued strong demand for Chemistry tuition?
With schools still prioritising academic education so as to provide students with a strong foundation in the key subject electives of English, Mother Tongue, Mathematics and Sciences even from an early age of 7, and the presence of national examinations such as PSLE, ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels being there as a measure of academic performance to determine entry into the more popular secondary schools or tertiary institutions, it is no wonder that parents will still continue to register their child for tuition classes with whatever available time they have on their schedule at a young age. There are even some children at kindergarten or nursery school going for after-school classes to improve their counting of numbers or phonics pronunciation.
When parents are already facing stiff competition at their workplace and always asked to upgrade themselves to perform better, it is not difficult for them to propagate the same beliefs onto their child’s academic education. Unless the Singapore education landscape takes a few steps back to focusing less on academics and more on holistic education or our society starts to seriously evaluate and not try to convert our next generation of Singaporeans into human robots striving for perfection, our young will only be continually subjected to a packed schedule filled with tuition classes once they can walk and talk.