Most pupils do not need tuition to pass examinations, but they need it to do well enough to secure places in reasonably good secondary schools, or to stand any realistic chance of snagging places in the coveted Integrated Programme ("Tuition too prevalent to ignore"; last Sunday).
The hard truth is that many children have to work very hard (and smart) just to "do well".
Many parents are faced with this dilemma: either recalibrate their expectations or get their children extra help through private tuition. Most of us have opted for the latter simply because that is the reality of living in a highly competitive society.
An entire generation of Singapore children have been brought up to rely on tuition to get them through their primary school years. As they progress to secondary school, a fair number will continue to rely on tuition in a few core subjects.
I do not have any clever suggestions to offer the Education Minister and his team. Indeed, this issue has become a perplexing one for all - policymakers, parents and children. Let's start, as Opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong pointed out, by acknowledging the elephant in the room.
Lim Mui Khim (Ms)
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