Excellent post by top GP tutor Mr Steven Ooi. This post sums up the current competitiveness of the Singaporean education system. Similarly for Math, there is a knowledge “arms-race” to the extent that a typical Primary 3 student should know how to calculate 1+2+3+…+100 in case this question pops up in the exam. The textbook syllabus remains just as easy as in the past, but what is tested has become 10 times more difficult.
[Writer’s note: While this article is addressed specifically to Singapore-based students, it may hold some truth for students in many other places as well.]
Dear young friend,
I’m writing this to share some thoughts that I used to convey to every one of my students when I was still a full-time tutor in Singapore (I retired in 2016). It is just my personal opinion, formed through years of experience as a student in the 1980s and 1990s, then as a tutor in the 2000s and 2010s.
Observing student life in the 90s and then in the 2010s, I can only conclude that the school system in Singapore has become 10 times more competitive than during my time. At least 10 times. During the 90s, most of my junior college classmates didn’t even attend private tuition. We could hang out at the bowling alley, the arcade or the hawker centre most…
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