Power Revision


It’s the June holiday. For most P6 students, or for that matter, anyone taking state exams such as the O or A levels in October, it’s revision time.

Ivan has been lucubrating daily, coming out of the room only for his meals. Well, he doesn’t have much choice or time, since it was less than satisfactory results in the first semester.

You must have read the Sunday Times recently on how much parents paid for June holiday classes – an amount that could send a couple to US for vacation, well…me guilty! We paid more than $5K on tuition for Aaron this June. Astronomical right? The amount charged by ISUN is still less than what some parents are paying for at Learning Lab, where most of Aaron’s classmates are attending.

Everyday, Aaron has to attend 4 hours of English or Maths Tuition. Then for four days in the last week of his school holidays, he has an 8-hour-a-day Chinese workshop. Mike and I have been taking turns to send and fetch him from United Square.

Critics have asked why are parents sending students who are performing well to tuition. Shouldn’t tuition be for poor performing students?

My two older kids did not have any tuition or enrichment outside school until well into higher secondary. They were average kids and I used to tutor them nightly on subjects they were poorer in. The only help they got was when I sent them to a two-hour Maths tuition for five consecutive days at Balmoral during the one-week September holidays, just to push them from an A to A* for PSLE, which both achieved. For the other subjects, it would be futile and and they achieved the the results I had expected of them.

Aaron, a high performer, is expected by his school, and thus his parents, to get  A* for all his subjects …okay, probably with the exception of Chinese. The power revision during this June holiday is aimed at helping him achieved that. For his part, he is enjoying the classes, something I find strange but comforting.

I had voiced my concern to his tutors about ‘burnt outs’ but they brushed my worries aside. They have students coming in for all subjects, including for creative writings for both languages. They see some faces 7 times a week.

So to answer the critics, P6 holiday classes are meant for the two extreme performing students  – for the very good to help them achieve an even higher aggregate, and the weak students. For all the others in between, it’s best to let them play during the holidays. Of course, there are parents who would disagree and still insist on sending their kids for tuition, with the hope that it would at least improve the final aggregate.

So is it all work and no play for Aaron this June? Nah… we are going to Cameron Highlands tomorrow and it’s be no studying for the next 5 days. Hooray!

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About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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