Tuition Is Stressful for Children?
Is Tuition Stressful for Children?
Children nowadays are finding it hard to live their childhood life to the fullest. Just think about it for a moment, the subjects they are taught in school and in different levels have increased in number compared to what the past generations had to deal with. And as if this was not enough, the scope of each of the subjects has also been expanding thus leaving the children with loads of work to deal with. Simply because the students are not in the school premises does not mean they will be resting but on the contrary, they carry with them more work which they must complete before commencing their next school day. There are computer lessons, tuition classes, piano lessons and many other responsibilities that require their attention. Tuition has emerged as one of the strongest competitors for the children’s time. With this in mind, it now appears as though children have to put in more hours of work than their parents do.
Long Hour But Without Any Time to Play
It is now clear that children who enrol in both tuition classes and mainstream schools are placed under significant pressure. Immediately the child leaves the school compound, he or she is taken to the tuition centres or for tuition classes with or without getting a break to unwind. At tuition, the child is expected to stay alert and maintain the same level of mental attentiveness and openness throughout the session. If you have been in a tuition class, then you understand the pressure that out children have to face despite the fact that they have been occupied throughout the day and their concentration is down and exhausted. This is not something easy for the children to deal with. After so many hours they’ve had to put in their classrooms, the children are forced to sit throughout tuition sessions to help catch up with the ever expanding syllabus that have become part of our education system. Even after going through the tuition sessions, the children will have to go home and make sure they have completed their homework given by their teachers on top of the one they are given during the tuition classes. In addition, they may also be required to go through all their lessons afresh once they get home and this need to be done before they rest for the night. At the same time, you must not forget that most of these children have to help in other chores in the home thus leaving them crowded with too much without even getting ample time to play and rest. No wonder our children do not have much private time to spend on their own, leave alone time to spend in leisure and sporting activities.
The Mad Rush Begins Early in Life
How severe is this problem? Based on a survey conducted in 1991 on the Malaysian students, more than 36 percent of the respondents agreed with the assertion that “Tuition has taken over our life,” and the minority who comprised 18 percent disagreed. It was clear by then that many of those interviewed were feeling the weight of tuition and had to spend more hours learning with little time to play. Since that survey was conducted, the popularity of tuition has been on the rise and the increase has been significant. Today, tuition is a major part of every student’s life and a majority of the young people in different levels of our schooling system have to attend tuition at one point or the other. Children have been forced to spend more hours attending tuition classes and this has increased their stress endurance levels significantly. The reason behind this is that during tuition sessions, the students’ abilities and skills are insistently set against those of their peers. Today more than ever before, schooling has become more of a competition and the competence of the tutor is judged against the results that he or she is able to produce.
Unstable Growth Process
Under this atmosphere of extreme competition, during tuition and at school, the age-fitting development duties such as learning to relate with peers, building healthy outlook towards oneself, developing morality, a conscience, and a range of values are frequently ignored. More commonly, an uneven spotlight on book learning and success in exams will occupy and override all other forms of education yet these are possibly very important in the child’s life as well. If these developments were to be considered, the end results would have been a well rounded person and at the same time provide the most important relief from the unnecessary pressure of exhausting educational activities.
A big majority of students who attend tuition are as a matter of fact forced into attending numerous sessions by their parents, to an extent where tuition centres have turned into their second school. This is nothing but ‘abuse” on the children by their parents who are more concerned about certificates and diplomas which they want their children to attain regardless. Most of the students you find in tuition centres around the country have no choice but to attend as a way of pleasing their parents. This is putting massive weight on these young brains and more likely the students are set on a path of detrimental attitude patterns due to the highly competitive atmosphere that leaves no room for adaptability, initiatives and creativity. The young brains have no room to grow into the real individuals they are supposed to do and neither is what is in them really discovered as they grow up. Not only are the students put under immense pressure but they emerge only as regurgitators of some facts which they have memorized without fully understanding. Memorization technique of learning using repetitions becomes the custom in student’s life and this is mostly done with the aim of passing the exams. As a result, students are judged against the score they achieve in their examination and this becomes the benchmark as a substitute for real learning.
The Danger of Exams
Our school system has become synonymous to exams and students work over the years with one aim; to pass in their exams. The pressure to excel in the national exams (STPM, UPSR, SPM and PMR) is immense such that in different cases every year, it drains the children’s learning momentum. Teachers and principals have witnessed students coming to schools in the morning in a state of psychological and physical exhaustion early in the morning. Yet, these same students are expected to stay alert and receptive during the hours ahead and absorb whatever they are taught before leaving school for yet another rigorous tuition process and homework. Pressure has contributed to mental fatigue. In this game commonly known as examination, there is no room for failure and any student who fails has to deal with stigma while those who succeed have to do it at a great cost than they can even bare. It is a rat race, a game too dangerous especially when the participants are our young children who have neither time nor room to grow in a healthy and balanced environment.
There Are Other Better Avenues
On an encouraging note, one can argue that this kind of pressure is important if we have to bring out what is good in the student. It may also be argued that the pressure helps to stretch the young ones to take full advantage of their potential. For instance, there seems to be a great emphasis on dedication and discipline by our society, and a regard for logical pressure that is applied by tuition is generally considered to be helpful. Therefore to some extent, the level of pressure that is thought to be necessary is determined by our cultural and social norms. Most educators are likely to add that if tuition lessons are helping the student to keep pace with his or her peers, then it could help protect his or her self-esteem. For this reason, although tuition brings immense pressure on one side, it is viewed as beneficial in helping lessen pressure from another dimension.
A lot may also be determined by the form of tuition the student has enrolled in and how it is carried out. There are various tuition programs that are specifically intended to take away the pressure aspect that is closely related with learning. These forms of tuition are normally centred on the student in nature as opposed to being teacher-centred. The tuition process puts emphasis on student participation, encourages creativity and is flexible. Students who attend this kind of tuition normally find it to not only be friendly but also a pleasurable process. Without a doubt, the current situation is generally unattractive. Students who enrol for tuition classes not only bring home lessons but they also bring the accompanying pressure also. There are increasing numbers of student depression not to mention that suicides have been reported and this provides a harsh reminder of the effects of extreme pressure being put on the young minds. While tuition is good, we might need to rethink the approach and make it more student-centred as opposed to the way it is now where it is teacher-centred.