I’m not Kiasu but I send my kids for tuition
I’M NOT KIASU BUT I SEND MY KIDS FOR TUITION
Tuition in Singapore has always been a hot topic! When I was little, my parents sent me for tuition and enrichment classes. Funny, but thinking back, I had never resisted going for any enrichment classes my parents sent me to; in fact, I enjoyed attending them all! They never once force me into learning something I don’t want. And when I grew older (sec 1 onwards), I actually requested to attend tuition classes for subjects I was weak in. I guess I felt more responsible for my grades and future, thus more eager to get help from the right people. In the nutshell, tuition did me well! They build my foundation right from young and with strong foundation in my core subjects, it got me through my entire education journey with ease (even as I moved on to get my Bachelor and Master degrees). It’s not just all talk! I have results to prove! I graduated with Dean’s Awards! No dear, I am not trying to blow my own trumpet. What I’m trying to tell here is that tuition worked for me (and many other kids out there) and parents shouldn’t see sending their children for tuition as a form of “kiasu act”. No, it isn’t! There is an average of 40 kids in a primary/secondary school class and every child learns at a different pace, so how can one teacher ensure all her students understands all her teachings in class? We can’t blame the teacher! She has so much on her plate, too little time, and too many children under her care. Sure, it will be nice if the Ministry of Education (MOE) can revise their school policy and perhaps have lower student-teacher ratio (smaller classes), but I won’t get there. That’s another topic altogether. We cannot change the school’s policy overnight, but we can get help for our kids!
DO YOU KNOW
Do you know – a 2008 study showed that about 97 per cent of Singaporean students enrolled in tuition and enrichment classes compared to only 49 and 30 per cent of primary and secondary school students who did so in 1992.
This is an unfortunate result of the pressure cooker education system that school kids are constantly facing in a meritocratic society like Singapore. And I constantly remind myself not to send my kids for tuition just to keep in trend but to classes that are beneficial to them, and most importantly, they enjoy attending. Again, I am not kiasu, I’m just being prepared. If they need help, and I can’t help, I employ help.
IS GOING FOR TUITION USEFUL?
Truth to be told, my kids are only 2 and 4 years old. I send them for age appropriate classes (for example, Right-Brain Training Classes). But eventually they will get there, be in a class with 40 other students and vying for the teachers’ attention. I will be happy if they can catch up with school and need no extra help from tutors, but if they are unable to, I will not hesitate to send them for classes, good ones!
After being a parent, I suddenly see myself mingling with more friends who are parents too! Some have kids who are already teenagers and they have so much so share! Through our own “parent-meeting-session” I concluded that majority parents see improvement in their child’s school grades and self-confidence after attending tuition for approximately 4-6 months. For me, acquiring knowledge is important, but more important is my children’s emotional health. If, for example, my girl can’t cope with her school work, or can’t speak good English, and starts withdrawing herself from her friends because she feels inferior, that’s NOT healthy. I want my kids to be happy!
So is going for tuition useful? I say “YES”!
- For academic purpose. Like it or not, schools and kids in Singapore are graded and ranked. Some times, some kids are just too afraid or embarrassed to ask questions in class, but are more comfortable to discuss in smaller groups with a tutor.
- A tutor can impart knowledge that may not be taught in sufficient details in school because there is only that much time for English class, for example.
- A tutor can target and work on the child’s weakness but a school teacher cannot do the same with every individual student.
- Finally, it helps the child to build on self-confidence.
THE MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECT I WOULD FOCUS ON
There are many types of tuition or enrichment classes (whichever you call them). Just to name a few, Chinese, English, Math, Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physic, Ballet, Piano, Violin, Right-Brain-Training, Drama, Painting, and the list goes on…
Among all, I personally feel that ENGLISH is the most important subject, and one that I will give much emphasis to! It is important in both my children’s education and career.
We all know that English is an International language. It is used in all the aspects of communication whether spoken or written in most part of the world, and definitely in Singapore. English is a prerequisite for further study. You cannot go for further study outside your country without the knowledge of English. Even if you want to emigrate to an English speaking country, it is compulsory for everyone to pass the IELTS test.
For the sake of their future, I will do all I can to help them succeed in life. And I will start with teaching them good English. It will eventually help them with the rest of the subjects since math and science are all taught in English.
It is easy to help preschoolers with school work but as their school curriculum gets more challenging into Primary 4, 5, 6 or even way into J1 and J2, you might need some professional help.
Again, I am not kiasu, I’m just being prepared. Just like how I have already done my homework on enrolling my kids to the primary school of my choice (hopefully theirs too), I’ve also checked out on some tuition centres which I would give five stars to ✩✩✩✩✩
When it comes to tuition centres, there are more supply than demand, so parents, take your time to choose the right one for your child. The most popular centre may not have the best teachers. In my opinion, a good tutor beats a branded school. Well, you know what’s best for your child.
I have recently chanced upon DO Applied Learning and have visited their centre to make enquires. DO Applied Learning is nested in the East side of Singapore, near schools such as Tao Nan, CHIJ Katong Convent, Ngee Ann, Victoria, St Patrick and more.
I know what’s in your mind now – again, I am not kiasu, I’m just being prepared lah! These tutors can help transform your child into a black belt practitioner of the English language! They have helped many students in their PSLE, O’Levels, and A’Levels examinations, and more importantly, beyond the classroom, way into their careers. The tutors teaches English using Applied Learning methodologies and encourages students to ‘Learn By Doing’, which are in line with MOE’s direction. MOE has announced with it would be supporting all secondary school to each develop an Applied Learning Programme by 2017.
DO Applied Learning
Where are classes conducted?
Classes are conducted at Block 86 Marine Parade Central #04-302. Same building as Popular Bookstore.
Are classes in groups or conducted on a 1-1 basis?
Their English classes are usually conducted in small groups of no more than 6 students per class.
Who is teaching the classes?
Lessons are taught by Mr. Daniel Ong, a former Public Service Leadership Programme (PSLP) officer, who served stints in the Ministry of Education (MOE), and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). During his time in service, Daniel explored practical ways to improve the quality of education for our future generation through participating in major projects such as the national review of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Beyond this, he was also involved in drafting documents and speeches for Cabinet Level Ministers. Daniel was also a multi-year Dean’s Lister at the Singapore Management University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude (With Highest Distinction). Above all, he is one teacher with great amount of patience and lessons are never boring.
How to sign up for lessons?
DO Applied Learning invite students to first register for a free trial lesson before enrolling with them. I like that the tutors are more concern about the students than mere business. I’ve seen centres encouraging parents to pay upfront tuition fees for a year to enjoy some 20% discount. That’s pure business, but I don’t fault the tutors there. It’s the centres’ management team behind the marketing gimmicks, no? Anyway, at DO Applied Learning, you don’t have to pay upfront school fees for a year or whatnot. In fact, they want you to go for a free trail class before deciding whether to continue attending classes with them or not!
If you are interested in attending classes at DO Applied Learning, do quote “LOVEWESA” to get a 20% discount off the first month tuition fee!
Facilities in the classrooms
DO Applied Learning classrooms are fully air-conditioned, and they provide free wi-fi connection (and laptops for students) to search for information, when they are practicing their exercises.
Are there registration fees, learning material fees, or any other hidden fees?
No, there are no other fees besides tuition fees. And yes, they provide all the learning materials for the students.
What are DO Applied Learning tuition fees like?
S$200 per month for upper primary (2 hrs x 4 lessons per month)
S$220 per month for lower secondary (2 hrs x 4 lessons per month)
S$240 per month for upper secondary (2 hrs x 4 lessons per month)
S$260 per month for JC (2 hrs x 4 lessons per month)
What I really like about DO Applied Learning is that there are no hidden cost. They provide all the learning materials for the students. No additional charges are required apart from the monthly fees. Yes, there is also NO registration fees.