Why allow private enrichment classes in school?

My child, who is in Primary 2, was given the option of signing up for after-school lessons – a package covering English, maths and sports – conducted by a private organisation.

Although the lessons are not compulsory, the move sends a wrong signal to parents that such classes are acceptable, since they are conducted on the school premises.

The Government has made it clear that children do not need tuition, yet the school allows a private organisation to run enrichment classes on subjects that are already covered in school.

Some schools require weaker pupils to remain behind for extra lessons, or allow brighter pupils to study subjects at a higher level. This is acceptable as it caters to the differing needs of children, and teachers are the ones who select the pupils.

But by lumping different subjects into a package, the service provider does not allow pupils to focus on their weaker subjects.

The lessons last three hours and are held twice a week, putting a strain on children who are already trying to cope with their regular classes, co-curricular activities and remedial lessons.

Many education professionals are fond of using the term “holistic development”. But this does not mean covering subjects without knowing which aspect to focus on.

Sng Ah Beng

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