SINGAPORE - Fresh from receiving their Primary School Leaving Examination results, young Courtney Su and nine other Primary 6 peers are holed up in a classroom learning highest common factors and lowest common multiples.
They collected their results on Nov 22. But, instead of fully enjoying their holidays, they are chugging away twice a week, in two-hourly enrichment classes to bone up on Secondary 1 mathematics.
Pre-schoolers are not the only ones getting booster lessons for the next phase of the education system (in their case, Primary 1). Private tuition centres have also been offering Primary 6 pupils jumpstart classes to prepare them for Secondary 1.
Courtney, who is taking these classes at Cleverland Tutorial Centre in Tampines Street 23, admits: "If it were up to me, I'd be at home playing card games with my 10-year-old brother."
However, the St Anthony's Canossian Primary School pupil says: "I'm a slow learner, so this is will help me not feel so lost in class next year." Thursday's class, observed by SundayLife!, was the second of six sessions.
Her father, Mr David Su, 49, explains why he signed her up for the course: "Her former tuition teacher says it's very good and highly encouraged her to go for it."
Besides, the head of customer service in an aviation firm says, it is a way to ensure that his daughter "does not disassociate herself from school work" during the six-week break.
SundayLife! found eight tuition centres, including Cleverland, conducting such bridging courses for Primary 6 pupils. They range from six to 12 sessions, held once or twice a week over last month and this month.
Class sizes range from two to 15. Costs range from $20 an hour at Cleverland to $60 an hour for a group of three at NickleBee Tutors in Bishan. In total, parents may fork out between $200 and $800 per bridging course.
Are they necessary? Cynics will say parents are being kiasu, or that education centres are packaging holiday programmes just to ensure cash flow.