Sunday, 29 September 2013

The hot topic- Tuition

The word 'tuition' is abuzz these days. I can't help but join in the party and put in my 2 cents worth. But I am not targeting at tuition per se, read on.

I read that a boy who is top in his school, but still opt for tuition just because he wants to maintain his position. I cannot help but find fault with this at every level.

First up, I am not opposing parents who opt for tuition for their kids who are struggling to keep up. Personally, I would do the same if my children are doing poorly. I think it makes perfect sense; render help where help is needed.

But, to have tuition so that the child doesn't slip down to number 2 in school is way absurd for me. Excuse me, what is so shameful about being number 2 or 10th or 30th in school or just being an average? I fear that such students think that being number 2 or lesser is equivalent to failing. This belief is so warp! And there you have students struggling hard to even make it to the passing mark! Ridiculous!

The other thing that puts me off is that there are kids who obviously feel that they can't get to where they are without tuition. Their trust is not in their own abilities but in the tuition. The danger of it is that, if you take away the tuition, you are also taking away their belief in themselves. I was a below average student, almost failing or sometimes failing student. I had tuition but it didn't help me a bit. Until, one day, I was determined to buck up. Picked up the books and taught myself up to the top few positions in my class. In other words, I depended on no one but myself. Even if you gave me tuition, took it away, I would not have faltered because I knew how to get the respectable grades on my own. Little did I know, I taught myself a lesson then. That, I can carve my own success myself. And as I enter into adulthood, I became resilient even in my working life. But I worry for these kids; they probably would be in absolute lost and chaos the minute you cut tuition off from them. Again, I am not against tuition. But I think it is wrong when the child puts more confidence in tuition than in himself.

Morover, this is just Primary school! Can we just chill alittle bit here? Being at the top in Primary level is by no means a measurement of success in later years like Secondary or even adulthood. It makes me wonder, how would these students take it if one day (which I am quite sure would happen) don't make it to the top in other phases of their lives? How would they see themselves? What would happen to their self esteem? You would think being at the top is a glamorous thing. But I think these lot may be in danger for having low self esteem especially if they tie their self worth to their grades. The higher they are, the more pressure they may have to stay up there and the greater their fear of failing. Of course, I may be making an assumption here- but it can & probably has happen(ed).

What kind of kids do we want to have? Those who believe they can't carve success on their own? Those who are fearful of not being number one? Those who are fearful and not resilient to failures?

I think the successful student would be one who has a healthy self esteem regardless of his grades. No gleaming grades can pull him up neither can rotten grades put him down. Schools, media, the Ministry and especially us parents should be constantly there to remind our children that no matter their grades, their positions in school,  they are champions in their own right. That each of them have their one uniqueness with which they can carve a successful and meaning futures for themselves not their glorious report books.

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