The problem arises when people become over reliant on tuition. I know a few families for whom tuition has become the first port of call at the first sign of a 'problem' (and I use that term loosely). This is a generalisation, I know, but I feel that many students these days are no longer required to figure out different ways of studying or find their own information and 'help' themselves, because at the first sign of grades slipping, parents start to panic and immediately send them for tuition. And I'm not just talking about kids who are below average, either. Gone are the days when tuition was just for the academically weak students. Now all and sundry, GEP included, have tuition.
When does it end? Kids have tuition for primary school to do well in PSLE, and then continue in sec school to do well in O and A levels. But what happens when the child goes to university and finds it hard to cope with independent study because they've had the tuition safety net all their lives thus far? Would they need tutors to help them get their degrees? (I'm not even sure such services exist, but if this tuition craze continues, then I won't be surprised if it does in the near future!)
The thing is, the Singapore education is often touted overseas as one of the best in the world, as the academic standard is often two or three years ahead of their peers in Western countries. But if you take away all the external help, will the standard remain as high? Can it? To me, that's not the mark of a good education system. What's the point of having such high academic standards if kids are not able to achieve on their own, based solely on what they learn at school?