SINGAPORE - When Abirami Arulkandan started tuition with the Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda) in Secondary 2, she had been scoring mostly Bs and Cs, and a D for English.
But one mathematics tutor changed all that by making time to help students - even outside the classroom.
"Whatever questions we had, we could ask her - even for science and English," said 16-year-old Abirami.
"When I scored a D7, I knew I had to buck up, but I didn't know any way to improve my English. She told me to cut out articles from newspapers to analyse and helped me mark my essays."
Abirami went on to score As and Bs for her O levels, and yesterday picked up a Best Overall for O Levels prize.
The Pioneer Junior College student was one of 571 students from the four ethnic-based self-help groups who received Joint Tuition Awards.
The awards - given out by the Chinese Development Assistance Council, Eurasian Association, Sinda and Yayasan Mendaki - are being held for the 11th time and recognise academic improvement of tuition students who sat the PSLE, N levels and O levels.
Senior Minister of State for Education and Law Indranee Rajah said in her speech as guest of honour that the ceremony at Nanyang Polytechnic "embodies our national spirit of the different communities coming together as one united society".
In 2002, the various self-help groups came together to offer their subsidised tuition programmes to students from all groups. There are now 69 collaborative tuition centres.
This article was first published on August 24, 2014.
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