Everyone knows that Singapore is a highly competitive society and that from a young age, even kids face exam pressures and parents often feel compelled to compare notes to determine which schools are faring better and which teachers are outperforming their colleagues.
What is the current Physics tuition landscape?
The Physics tuition landscape has ramped up even further in the past several years. A poll commissioned by the Straits Times in 2019, for example, found that over half of primary school kids who go for tuition classes began doing so at the tender age of 7. Well over 80% of these students have had experience with private classes by the time they are in upper primary. In the survey, mathematics stood out as the top subject for tuition.
Most parents these days are aware of the need to avoid the pitfalls of “kiasuism” and understand that a child’s holistic development extends beyond academic achievement. But when faced with an increasingly demand school syllabus, and out of sympathy for their kids who sometimes struggle to keep up with their classes, parents still avail themselves of the broad range of Physics tuition services available in Singapore.
Tuition may already be a multi-billion-dollar industry in Singapore, but surely, giving kids an early advantage in school and honing their intellectual and mental faculties from young is priceless.
The ST survey, which was conducted by consume research firm Milieu Insight, polled 235 parents with primary school children who have attended tuition. Group tuition was their preferred choice. Of the subjects that the children received tuition for, the leader was mathematics, followed by English, Mother Tongue, and then Science.
What is MOE doing to improve the education landscape for Physics education?
Even recent reforms to the education system, such as removing certain mid-year examinations, as well as adjustments to the grading scheme in the Primary School Leaving Examination, might do little to temper Singaporeans’ desire for private tuition.
The Ministry of Education, in spite of its efforts to reduce stress levels on students, believes firmly that a certain level of academic rigour has to be maintained in order to ensure that our kids grow up well-prepared for the workforce and for higher education. Physics exams in particular seem to be getting harder every year. This only serves to reinforce parents’ desire to help their kids stay ahead through private Physics tuition.
As long as our education system continues to emphasize a solid grounding in academic fundamentals even at the primary level, and good grades remain the principal mode of entry into good secondary schools and higher education institutions, parents will send their kids for tuition classes at younger and younger ages. It is not easy to convince parents that grades are not everything as long as grades remain the deciding factor at every advancing step.
When parents themselves are constantly told that they have be as competitive as possible in the workplace, it is hard to imagine them not extending the same philosophy to their kids’ academic progress. Until such time that society and the economy take their feet off the accelerator, academic achievement will always be at the forefront of consciousness on the part of parents, and by extension, tuition culture will be here to stay.