Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Extra Classes : are they really necessay ?

Assalamualaikum all, at the moment I am stuck at UiTm organizing a bengkel for students taking SPM. My daughter will be taking the exam this year so I thought it might be helpful to give her some help in going through this ordeal. While I am at it, called a few friends if anyone interested to join in. Finally I managed to gather around 10 students and set up a class. So far it has been going on quite smoothly; I hope they learn something.

The thing is that why do these students need the extra classes ? We can see at all levels ....primary level for UPSR, middle-secondary level for PMR and Upper-secondary level for SPM......pupils are looking for extra help. Why ?? Is it because ...

  • The school curriculum does not cover enough for the exam ?
  • The teachers do not have enough time to cover all the topics?
  • The exam has gone beyond the curriculum set by the Ministry?
  • The pupil is below standards?
  • The exam has become very competitive?
  • They just need to fill up time during the school break?
All sort of questions will come to mind; it is really bugging me. This is the first time I resort to extra classes for my kids. Usually we just managed to help them out ourself. I guess time has changed and all we want is to help our daughter going through this by whatever means. If this helps then we are very thankful. This tuition classes have been very popular and silently grown into profitable income. Mainly because many of the kids are worrying that they would not make the grades. And banking on other people worries is the most successful marketing strategy in any business. Yup! as I see it ,it is a business . But it is okay I supposed , nothing comes without a price nowadays. At least we can help the teacher meets his/her ends. It's really hard to live with everything has the price going up through the roof !

However, back to educational perspectives on tuition classes, there must be something missing in the curriculum for this to happen. It should be enough for whatever they learn in the classroom to get them through the exam. That is what the curriculum is all about; if not then it should be revised accordingly. If my calculation is right then no one would be needing any extra classes for whatever reasons. But again I hate seeing my kid slouching around in front of the TV all day long. Well that is different because they can go and learn some other stuff like swimming, piano lessons, art and craft, writing etc. Things that are out of their normal school curriculum. These extra activities would help build their self esteem. It would be good for the kids. I think the real reasons come down to the parents ourselves; how far do we really ready to do it? With the job commitment and all, come school holidays or not, we can't get away with it so easily.

So my conviction is that we do not need these tuition classes after all. We can find all sort of reasons to get one but technically our kids do not necessarily need it. Go camping for a change !

Monday, June 2, 2008


Hi all ! Learning is part of our life whether we like it or not. It started the day we were born(or maybe earlier as some believe that we can learn from the womb!). let's start with the day we saw that light at the end of the tunnel and gave a thunderous cry to acknowledge the world that here i am. I have arrived. Learning is an innate ability; embedded in our body to adapt to the new surrounding that we are in. The passion is there as we live our life to survive and continue living; day after day we quest for new things that promise new opportunities. So we expect. The journey seems endless; so many things to know, so many books to read, so many teachers to face. It's easy to get drowned and lost in the midst of our learning odyssey. I have been learning for so many years now but don't seem to reach the end of it. Always everyday you will find new things to learn. But the experience from learning is abundant and I keep it close to my heart for guidance into my future. The first day I registered at Sek Rendah Sultan Ibrahim 2 Pasir Mas was more than thirty five years ago but it was as if it happened yesterday. My dad dropped me at the school on his way to Pasir Mas Railway Station where he worked as buruh kasar. I kinda managed myself through the registration and helped myself to the classroom. I sat and that was the start of a long journey of my formal education. It was that simple in those days. We had nasi lemak in the morning with a few skinny ikan bilis and a glass of milk. But many of us just left it there because it was so tak sedap! we went for a-10-cent nasi berlauk; it was quite delicious. Learning in those days means going to school. Not much we could learn out of school other than playing some kampung games. But even in the school learning was not that much fun. Well for me at least. The teachers were very garang ; looking back I don't know why they wanted to become a teacher anyway. Even today the culture is still there; that these kids are so stubborn and hard-headed so always put on your monster's mask. I think they got it wrong. I can be sick to the stomach if I smell one type of perfume that my teacher used to have on. He was my English teacher and being a kampung boy in Kelantan my English was not as good as Harry Potter you know ....... and he would called me up and pulled up my ears or sekeh on the head or what have you. Every time the English class is on...and it was way back so many years ago...I can still remember it well. So do other kids when things happen to them. But we went on learning because the passion was there and that was all we were supposed to do.