6/18/2009

Tuition: Is It Really Necessary?

A week ago, the Lite FM deejays had a discussion & people called in to talk about tuition:

1. Why do people go for tuition?
2. Is it necessary?

I think I can safely claim that tuition started to become a norm when I was in my teens. Kids would rush from school to tuition centers & come home in the evening. The tuition phenomenon mushroomed during the 1980's, so much so that the Malay translation for the word "tuition" was pioneered, like "tiusyen" & "tusyen". Now the formal term is "tuisyen". It was initially introduced as support classes for weaker students. However it is now a mere money-making machine:

Background
Malaysia's education system is exam-orientated. The focus of many is on the national examinations, namely UPSR (Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah, taken at Standard 6), PMR (Peperiksaan Menengah Rendah, taken at Form 3), SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, taken at Form 5) & STPM (Sijil Tinggi Pendidikan Malaysia, taken at Form 6, a pre uni level). The pressure is on students to achieve good results for these exams. 

Problem
The pressure has translated into emphasis on certain areas within a particular subject. Tuition centers generally focus on enhancing the knowledge on topics which are predicted to be questioned during the exams. 

The problem with this is it REMOVES the true meaning of knowledge, which is to UNDERSTAND & APPRECIATE the information provided on the subject, NOT to know what you THINK you NEED to know to SCORE. This attitude creates a generation of Malaysians who "study for the exam", rather than to gain knowledge. 

The effect of this spills over into tertiary education, where now suddenly students have to cope with performing consistently throughout the semester via coursework & push all the way for the final paper. So now we have a generation of graduates who only study what is necessary to obtain the grades they want, but they do not necessarily understand the roots of the subject, or the concepts that are crucial to total understanding.

Another problem is that school teachers are lured into becoming tuition teachers because of the higher pay. Tuition centers are private entities & the salary is higher than what the government pays to teach at school. Some teachers go to the extent of WITHOLDING matter from students to encourage them to join the tuition class. This creates a deterioration in the quality of teaching & converts the school from being an institution of education to becoming a prison to spend time.

Not to mention that there are stupid kids who use their parents money to attend tuition; only instead of studying, they use it as an excuse to hang out with friends etc. Money gone to waste, I say. Plus peer pressure may induce kids who haven't joined the tuition center to sign up, making them feel worried that they'd be left out. This attitude is PITIFUL & we should encourage them to achieve their true potential. 

Rowie says:
1. I myself never took tuition but I had the chance to attend a free session (it was a promotional move) & it was an INSULT to sit there & listen the tutor tell you what is important for the exam, rather than teach you to appreciate the knowledge.

2. People can do without tuition. My sister is proof of that. I'm proof of that. I have friends who are proof of that. The fees are RIDICULOUS & you come out of it ready to sit for the exam, but what happens AFTER the exam? You're nothing but an empty head, waiting to fill that empty head with empty information to study for the next exam.

3. I agree that yes, certain students may need additional coaching but tuition IS NOT THE WAY TO GO. I would like to ABOLISH all forms of tuition. The tutors "dedicating" their time at tuition centers can provide additional classes at school. I'm fine with teachers providing tuition at home but when they make it into a PROFITABLE business, it's time to take stock of what's happening.

The government should improve the quality of their teaching system rather than letting these PARASITES suck the kids away. Provide additional classes at school (kelas bimbingan/tambahan etc), use the manpower that is EVIDENTLY present & bring the kids back to the true meaning of learning. 

Unfortunately there are more people out there who thinks tuition is needed. So to answer the 2 questions posed at the beginning of this article, my answers are:

1. The current education system isn't sufficient to provide the assistance kids need. 

Oh yeah, some kids are lazy & ignorant.

2. It's not necessary. 

Hopefully the day will come that I won't have to stumble across an ad of a tuition center promoting classes & feel the urge to rip it off.

2 comments:

jaray said...

lol...

i needed tuition.
ya, i am lazy^^

i do better with better supervision "p

i like tuition.
SUE ME! "p

Rowan said...

*files the sue letter*

:p