Why Students Are Falling Behind In The Academic Rat Race

As a parent in Singapore, we are used to the concept of meritocracy and the competitive education system that our children have to go through. With an intensive academically focused school curriculum, pressure on our students is a constant throughout all their years of formal education. Consequently, it is inevitable that some start to fall behind their peers and require more attention in order to get back on track. It is here that private tuition has seen a sharp increase in demand, with parents recognising the need for early intervention before a snowball of sorts occurs. However, the specific causes behind this are often not well articulated. In this article, we aim to cover individual touch points that commonly cause certain individuals to fall behind their peers, and how private tuition helps to bridge these gaps.

Firstly, students being of such young ages are easily distracted in class. Now this is not to say that they do not pay attention, however lapses in concentration even in small periods of time can lead to an inability to comprehend a certain topic. Where they are unable to comprehend the lesson up to a certain point, they may either become disengaged or experience frustration. Either outcome would be detrimental to their learning. Ideally, teachers would be able to spot early symptoms of such behaviour, however the time constraints that they operate under coupled with the volume of students in a single class makes this a tall order for them. Indeed, teachers are placed under tremendous stress to convey large chunks of information in class while preparing students for tests. Consequently, their priorities lie not necessary in complete comprehension of a topic, but rather the ability of students to answer common test questions.

Secondly, we should remind ourselves that students are human beings, who require positive relationships with their teachers in order to learn from them. Teachers who understand the strengths and weaknesses of each student would ideally be able to cater to their learning needs and motivate them to be the best versions of themselves. However, such expectations are unrealistic as teachers juggle paperwork, exam setting and teaching responsibilities. Consequently, they are often unable to form such positive relationships with individual students.

Private tuition helps to cover some of the gaps raised in this article. For starters, tutors have the sole responsibility of helping your child do well for the subject that they are engaged in. This gives them the time and resources needed to help a student fully comprehend a topic while also strategizing for them to tackle problems according to their strengths. Students also feel less pressured when asking questions or clarifying doubts as it is done in a private setting. Moreover, private tutoring rates are increasingly affordable due to the wealth of options available, ranging from centres to freelancers to ex-teachers.