SINGAPORE - I am a Secondary 1 student, going on to Secondary 2 next year. I would like to respond to Eve Yap's report, Primary Kids Get Help For Sec 1 (SundayLife!, Dec 8) on how Primary 6 students are getting bridging classes at private tuition centres.
The first year in secondary school was really difficult, not only because of the increase in subjects, but also because of the big difference in format. For example, while English test papers in primary school were separated into many different sections, there were only two sections in the final exam I took in Secondary 1: Letter Writing, something I was not exposed to before, and Comprehension, which was much more difficult than in primary school.
In primary school, it was common to finish a test paper and be able to check through it thoroughly a few times. Secondary school, however, was different, especially for subjects such as mathematics and science. Many tests I completed had six full questions for maths to be done in half an hour. That means only five minutes could be spent on each question, minus checking.
If tuition centres could train students to adapt to solving problems quickly, it would help them greatly. Going for tuition classes in general does help to stimulate my mind, even if it is only for a few hours. They are a great way to practise, learn more and not slack off on academics.
On the other hand, these courses should not come as something that would ease all academic pains in secondary school, because, in my experience, there were many things I had yet to learn, explore and discover.
Above all, they should be voluntary, not something forced on children by parents.