Thursday, September 19, 2013

Is tuition necessary?

Once again, there is renewed debate on whether tuition is necessary for students, and if it is, why are schools not doing what they are supposed to do? 

All things being equal, if two children possess the same amounts of ability and industry, we would expect the one receiving personalized expert teaching to perform better than the other who does not have this boost.

Yet this does not mean that the child who does not have tuition will not also excel. Surely the educational materials are not such rocket science that it takes many, many hours of revising, tutoring and drilling to master them. If the syllabuses in schools are adequately covered, and the child spends time on his own revising, is there any reason why he cannot perform his best in exams?

Tuition then, is usually used as a way for students to get an edge over others, to receive more than whatever their peers are having. If this is the goal, no matter what the school is doing, it would not be enough for one child to have an advantage over the next, and the only way is through additional instruction outside. 

For us to break the grip of tuition in our society, it is essential that some take the initiative to jump off the bandwagon. Yet because few are willing to be the first to do so, and risk losing out to the rest, everyone remains on the runaway train, reluctantly. 

Yet us not lose the purpose of education in the scramble for results. I have often felt that excessive tuition is rather like an intravenous drip - it keeps one functioning, even without much effort or will. How much long term benefit is there? Is it not better for a child to cultivate resilience and perseverance by letting him rely more on himself to solve problems?

1 comment:

Uttam Kumar Sarkar said...
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