"90 marks is never enough."
That was the headline last week for a Straits Times report about how even straight-A students are going for tuition.
Only 90 marks? I remember a time when even 99 marks wasn't enough for my mother. Oh, how our standards have fallen.
When I brought home a test score of less than 100 per cent, the only tuition I got was the beating of my life from my mother.
But since I was very young then and hadn't lived many years, any beating would've been the beating of my life. I used to believe that as a child, I was made to wear short pants instead of long pants to allow my parents to strike the vast exposed flesh of my legs with a rattan cane more easily.
Perhaps our hot climate was also a factor, but easy access to cane-able skin surface was the main goal.
If I beat my own kids every time they get less than full marks in school, I would be typing this column on an Asus computer in prison, where I would have been sent for child abuse and the unrelated fashion crime of wearing Crocs.
Yes, I imagine I would have the use of an Asus computer in prison. A Macbook Pro would be too pie-in-the-sky.
Luckily for students nowadays, tuition rarely involves much physical trauma.
So instead of beating them, I send my two kids to tuition classes. I'm not sure if tuition does them any good, but it makes me feel as a parent that at least I'm doing SOMETHING, no matter how futile it may seem sometimes.
Even if my kids' grades don't improve, I'm afraid
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