Friday, December 09, 2005
Tuition: 2B or not 2B?
I'm rather fond of HB myself. :P
Since I can use the excuse that I'm a violist to justify my complete lack of knowledge when it comes to "trackbacks" or whatever it is that connects someone's blog discussion to another's, just movey your mousey to Teng Jian's My Stately Fishbowl to see where this discussion originateslah. Though to be honest I had problems connecting to the original NST article which got him writing on the topic. Still, interesting enough for me to interrupt your original programming of an Innovation Friday and moving that to next week. <--- that was an ad.
I've only attended two tuitions in my life: one was BM (Malay Language) when I was 14-15 (that's years, not IQ, you donkey), and Maths for my A-Levels. I used the former to chat it up with friends and try not to fall asleep since at that time it was the only place where I went to for a few hours which had real air conditioning (remember, I'm old. Like gila old. Like, when I was young, our remote control to the VCR - yes, video cassettes - had a long wire running across the living room. That old. And that time we could go like to Komtar - it was the only shopping place - to hang out maybe once a month, and there only MacDonald's had air con ok.)
Air con! Cool! Literally! I live in a hot country!
For the latter (betcha by now you've forgotten what the latter is, but then with my blog it never really matters now, does it?), I just felt, you know, this is karma and yin and yang and be one with the world and someone please just shoot me. And I still ended up with enough As in the STPM (A-levels) to make it to the top scorers' list with an E in Math scooting along, dragging up my rear (that's my academic rear, and yes, you can read that any way you want to. :P)
Based on the above, I declare myself an expect on the subject of tuition. And of VCRs. At least the ones with the little wires.
Whatever I just typed, I now blame on the fact that I'm medicated at present, and not only on the sake the night before last. At an actually somewhat more serious level of discussion however, I don't think one has to be on one side or the other, so in typical ambivalence of a violist (like, viola left hand bow right hand, but like, not have to wan right?)
A Real Discussion on Tuition (Really!)
On one hand, teaching levels at school are really crazy. An alarming amount of teaching is below par, that we all know. What this implies is:
1. Students wouldn't go to tuition with a teacher that they know is the pits in school. Unless they're as dumbass as their teacher and then well, hmm.
2. Some teachers work harder in tuition than in school, which is wrong. Some actually consciously work less in school and then advertise their tuition (one is, sadly, though some stroke of fate, is holding a high post in my alma mater) and this is downright immoral.
But it doesn't change the fact that sometimes the education at school is insufficient. This doesn't make tuition essential - here we recall wonderful stories of students who help sell wan-tan mee in the afternoon and top the country in academics, I know, one of them was my student - but it can be more convenient than trying to hunt down other teachers and friends. If tuition is within means and one's school teachers are crap, then I fully advocate skipping school and going to tuition, going to both seems like overkill.
There's also the perspective that tuition has certain things which normal school teaching cannot provide - the lack of the restraints of the syllabus, which from experience can be full of nonsense. Tuition directly targets exams, and that's its goal. Of course, in here lies the evil of it all - that beyond the discussion of tuition, it's the whole concept that real success and the only kind of success = academic success = exams and gimme gimme gimme the tuition, baby yeah.
And here's where my brain cells sort of run out. Time for my nap. Thas'al folks!