I AGREE with the points made by J. D. Lovrenciear in his letter, "Parents fight this tuition menace" (NST, Feb 22).
I commend the writer for his in-depth assessment of the multi-million ringgit tuition industry, which seemingly is accepted by parents, and seems to be part and parcel of the education system for primary and secondary students.
Sadly, the authorities have not assessed why our pupils have to resort to tuition and whether teachers nowadays are doing their job with dedication, which may explain why students require tuition.
It is not only those weak in their studies who go for tuition, but brilliant students also fill the seats in tuition centres across the country. This means every student wants to have tuition if a centre is in the vicinity.
Rightly termed by Lovrenciear, tuition is a "menace" that should be seriously addressed by the Education Ministry as it reflects a number of issues schools are doing wrong.
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Foremost is the question of whether school heads and teachers are doing their job. Otherwise, how do we account for so many tuition centres springing up since 42 years ago when the first wave of students had to go for Bahasa Malaysia tuition when the subject was made a must-pass subject in the then Malaysian Certificate of Education examination?
I do not know of any country, apart from Malaysia, where students go for tuition in such large numbers.
Parents nowadays are struggling to make a living and having to include tuition fees into their budget is a financial strain in many homes.
It is not about kiasu mentality that drives parents to send their children for tuition, but simply it boils down to the fact that our children are not receiving quality education. Therefore, tuition is an unwelcome menace they can't live without.
The powers that be have to look into the reasons why many of our students are going for tuition and address the situation critically. They have to answer the question whether our students are receiving quality teaching in the classroom.
By Dr Tan Eng Bee, Kajang, Selangor
Source: The New Straits Times Letters to the Editor 05 March 2012