An increasing number of expatriate students seeking private tuition

It has been reported in the Straits Times (More expat students catch the 'tuition bug', 9 October 2017): "Now, the "Tuition bug" has caught on among international students too, with tuition centres and agencies here reporting an exponential increase in the number of foreign students from international schools here seeking help for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education or International Baccalaureate examinations in recent years."

Are the progenies of foreigners also no longer immune to the zombifying stresses of the local education system? Have they finally succumbed to the dark side by approaching private tutors for academic assistance? Count on some of the thoughtful folks at Reddit Singapore to analyze this emerging trend, to discern whether the Kiasu mentality has indeed invaded souls, or an evolution of needs (in adapting to demands of current circumstances) has merely happened:

By kukubirdsg:

"It's incredibly ironic that the IB curricula was introduced in a bid to ensure that kids will undergo a more well-rounded education that's less focused on academics and more on creativity and imagination. Lo and behold, our kids started acing the examinations and everyone is now only interested in becoming the next top scorer.

At the end of the day, it's the culture that drives such a "tuition bug" and not the type of exam or education system we adopt. I think it highlights what a results-obsessed society we are. We can keep trying to adopt systems to improve creativity, entrepreneurship or whatnot, but once you establish grades as a yardstick / benchmark, you can be damned sure we'll be heavily bothered with achieving excellent scores.

Oh, how the tables have turned."

By JoXand:

"International school teacher here. On the surface IB wants an all-rounded education with shit like TOK (how do we know what we know), CAS (CCA) and the EE (4000-word essay).

Remove all that crap and it's just another A-level-like syllabus which some schools (ACS-UWC, UWCE-UWCD rivalry) are really competitive about.

In my classes at least 50% of all students take up some form of tuition (Kumon, private, etc). Some of those students are not slackers, instead they are the ones scoring 90+% in tests."

By Bobgimmick:

"I think it is a combination of pressures from:

• a highly competitive environment within which it is very difficult to stand out (e.g. quotas for US university places from international schools/certain nationalities) which is only exacerbated by massive world-wide growth in international schools

• growing disparity in difficulty between prior qualifications (e.g. GCSE) and the IB means students aren't ready for the massive challenges that some IB subjects (e.g. Maths and Chemistry) present. They haven't developed effective study skills and therefore think that spending extra time outside of class drilling themselves on exam questions will genuinely improve their understanding of the subject matter.

• stories of tutoring miracles and parental and student peer pressure build. They start early (one of the kids cited in that article began at 10 years old) and thereafter students are unlikely to quit them tuition lessons. Others subsequently join to 'keep up' and soon a culture develops in school.

• students typically over-reach in the destinations they are chasing and simply have to over-achieve as a result.

I don't think it's a pleasant experience for many kids. While with the assistance of private tutors they may ultimately score better in tests, there's a danger of them ending up as far less independent and effective learners."

By WestOfAnfield:

"Met this Finnish gentleman once and he told me that his kids basically get left behind if they don't attend tuition classes here and study really hard even during their school holidays. However he said he still makes it a point to take his kids back to Finland for 2 weeks every year to unwind and truly escape from this academic slavery they have to endure in Singapore."

Carefully harvested by the Czar (Site Founder)

Dated 9 October 2017


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