Is Brain Training the Solution to Singapore’s Tuition Culture?
Singapore’s tuition industry has ballooned to a $1.4 billion industry. About 15 years ago, this industry was only worth $650 million. This signifies a steady growth, that is likely to continue unless something significant happens.
While these figures seem alarming, a look at how much each household spends on tuition paints an even dire picture. It is estimated that tuition costs account to about 2% of each household’s monthly expenses.
Unfortunately, the competitive nature of Singapore’s education system is unlikely to slow down. Consequently, the demand for tuition services will continue to be a priority for most families. Many families sacrifice some of their other needs for tuition because kiasu has become ingrained in Singapore’s culture.
While tuition is indeed helpful and may be the reason behind Singaporean students’ high academic performance, the strain and stress on students and parents cannot be overlooked. Some families go into debt because they don’t want their children to miss out on great grades. Students undergo immense pressure to outperform their peers.
How is brain training different from tutoring?
Brain training addresses the cause of a child’s academic struggles, while tutoring focuses on information delivery. Unfortunately, tutoring fails to address the cause of learning struggles. In some cases, tutors explain it away as students being too slow at processing information.
Some even blame poor performance on playfulness. However, as a parent or teacher, have you considered the possibility that weak cognitive skills are to blame? Unfortunately, some students still struggle to grasp and process information even after hours of tuition. This frustrates parents, especially those who can barely afford tuition fees.
It is also critical to note that tuition can help a child successfully progress from one class to another or even pass a specific subject or project. However, a child with weak cognitive skills will continue to face learning difficulties. This is why brain training should be a priority. It has long term benefits and can even help a child respond better to tutoring.
When should you opt for brain training over tutoring?
While it is ideal for parents to consider brain training early, most often go for tuition because it is the typical solution to boost school performance. Unfortunately, instead of seeking alternative solutions, most students are subjected to more tuition hours if their performance does not improve.
Unfortunately, a stressed child can hardly perform. Instead, this evokes feelings of failure, especially if the child’s performance doesn’t improve after long hours of tuition.
If your child is struggling with his school assignments or has to work extra hard to catch up with his peers, brain training is the ideal solution.
You should also consider brain training if your child can only respond positively to one subject at a time. Children who struggle to process the information they receive often struggle with more than one class. Instead of having a tutor for each class, you should consider brain training as a comprehensive solution.
Brain training for children may not be as popular as tuition in Singapore, but it may be the solution to the intense tuition culture. Some critics believe more than 70% of Singapore’s tuition centres could be more effective if they did not use a “one size fits all” approach. Children are different and acknowledging that some have cognitive weaknesses that need to be addressed is a great step to improving their wellbeing.