Tuition centres move holiday programmes forward to May
After onsite tuition classes were suspended on March 27, enrichment centres now face another challenge - to relook their school holiday programmes to cater to the revised school term.
Since the Education Ministry's announcement last Tuesday that school holidays will begin on May 5, tuition agencies began moving forward their June holiday programmes.
Ignite Tuition Centre saw a 3 per cent to 4 per cent increase in enrolment for its online holiday programmes, despite 30 per cent of its students, who are in kindergarten or without proper IT equipment at home, opting out of online classes.
These students have been given lesson plans and learning materials to do at home instead, and can take up extra bridging classes once they return to the tuition centre.
Similarly, The Pique Lab saw an uptick in enrolment for its workshops compared with this time last year.
The centre, which had 40 holiday workshops scheduled, is sending out printed copies of its online lessons to students' homes, said its directors Mervin Soon, 27, and Kenneth Mak, 29.
"This process takes 10 to 15 hours a day, especially when we are trying to churn out all the materials in time for the holidays," said Mr Mak.
However, some places such as Han Language Centre will not have any holiday programmes next month. The Chinese enrichment centre will be conducting regular classes in May and June. To further prepare its students sitting for the upcoming national exams, more revision classes and extra consultation will be offered at no extra cost.
Said a Han Language Centre spokesman: "We would like to assure our students and parents that the willingness to continue learning should not come at unnecessary extra costs, particularly in such times."
Parents had varying views on how effective online classes are.
Mrs Lim Soo Sang, 44, who has three children, said: "They can turn off their camera so that the tutor cannot see them. So they can be doing something else and not concentrating."
However, Madam Haslinda Ali, 49, finds that learning from home helps her better monitor her 12-year-old's progress. She has enrolled her daughter in more virtual science lessons.