Professor Euston Quah raised a valid point when he highlighted that "excessive studying in the Singapore context could be counterproductive" ("Why more tuition may not be better"; last Wednesday). Much too often, time after school is spent doing homework and going for tuition classes. It is not uncommon for students to stay up after midnight to finish school assignments and tuition homework. Weekends are also packed with tuition and enrichment classes. How much time is left for play then?
Have parents ever asked their children whether they are happy going through this? As a result of excessive tuition, a student's energy is drained; some may daydream or fall asleep in class because the topics would be covered in tuition classes. Everything needs to be done in moderation.
Mrs Marietta Koh pointed out that "schoolwork can take precedence over family time" ("Paper chase weakening family bonds"; last Wednesday). Today, family bonding takes place in the form of parents supervising their children's homework. What is lacking is quality family time.
A friend recently lamented that the only time she had a proper conversation with her children was during those few minutes in the car when she was ferrying them for tuition classes on weekends. Instead of making children go for excessive tuition classes, perhaps parents should employ motivating factors to encourage them to perform better.
As a private tutor with more than 15 years' experience, I have taught children with varying abilities. Many improve in their studies only because they want to. There are some who stay unmotivated despite the best efforts of their tutors. Perhaps they simply lack the motivating factors to spur them on.
Vivien Tan (Ms)
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