Children spending too much time on tuition?

National 3 minutes, 33 seconds


TWELVE-year-old Danial has a long day ahead of him. After going to his primary school in the morning, he has to attend religious school in the afternoon, followed by tuition classes at night.

Danial is not the only pupil who has to juggle a busy schedule during his school days.

More Bruneian children are being sent to extra classes outside of school as it increasingly becomes the norm for tuition classes to be part of a child’s unofficial curriculum, thereby limiting children’s leisure time.

According to a Physical Education teacher at a local primary school, schoolchildren already spend about 22.5 hours in class a week as mandated by the national curriculum.

In addition, Muslim children are required to attend religious school for 1.5 hours (lower primary) and 3 hours (upper primary) after their regular classes end on school days.

Many parents believe that such classes outside of school have become not just vital, but necessary for their children to excel and keep up with the rest of the field even from a young age.

One such parent, Pg Yusran Pg Hj Muhd Yusuf, said it is “a must” nowadays for parents to send their children to tuition classes to brush up their weaker subjects and prevent them from falling behind in their studies.

“I send my children to tuition classes for Reading Skills and Mathematics even if they are still young because as a father, I do not want my children to lag behind in their development, especially since classrooms today are a more competitive place than ever for children.

“However, I am always busy at work on weekdays to find time to sufficiently tutor my children and so is my wife,” added the self-employed father of three.

Aside from parents’ perception that sending their children to the mandatory primary school in Brunei is not enough to meet their learning expectations, tuition classes have also replaced traditional parenting roles at home.

Hjh Lynn Yahya, who sends two of her children to a public primary school, finds that sending her children to tuition classes after school is an effective way to ensure they perform in their studies and keep up with their homework.

“I cannot be at home during the afternoon to make sure my children do their homework or revisions and since both my husband and I have full-time jobs, we are too tired or stressed most days to patiently help children with their homework when we get home in the evening.

“So I send my children for tuition classes, especially for their weaker subjects, to ensure they do not just idle themselves by playing games at home when I am not around. That way, I can monitor and maintain the academic performance of my children,” she added.

According to the owner of a reputable tuition school that has been in operation in Kiulap for the past 22 years, parents send their children to tuition classes as it offers a chance for students to realise their academic potential and get ahead.

“Some students here (at the tuition school) already have very good results, but they attend tuition classes to reinforce the potential they have,” said the owner who declined to be named.

Noting the increase in number and frequency of children attending tuition classes in recent years, she said this was likely due to increased awareness of the benefits that sending their children to tuition classes can bring.

“Years ago when we first started a tuition school, parents looked at it as a place of last resort or a sort of luxury but nowadays they realise that it really helps their children regardless of how the child performs at school,” she said.

She also said the reason students do better academically after attending tuition classes is due to the different environment between regular schools and tuition schools, where the former would just focus on teaching the concepts and finishing the syllabus but the latter reinforces those teachings through repetition and practice in a smaller classroom.

“That is why parents would choose to sacrifice the social and leisure time of their children to send them here, because the academic performance of their children must be prioritised from early on to ensure they succeed later in life,” she said.

The Brunei Times