Monday, February 21, 2011

On an extra class day....

My gal in Std 4 started her extra classes yesterday. According to the letter given out by the PIBG, it would run for 3 days every week till Oct. My gal says her extra class begins at 1.45 p.m. and ends at 3.30 p.m. So yesterday, at 4 p.m. she arrived home, looking very tired. As it was a Sunday, it also meant that we had church service later in the evening. She hurried herself and bathed upon reaching home. Meanwhile, Son had already prepared toast for her. She took a couple of bites and told me that she wasn't hungry.... and she had lots of homework to complete. So, she proceeded with that while I started preparations for an early dinner. I made her favourite to make up for her long day.

After dinner, we went to church. She took her homework with her, saying that she wanted to complete them at church. So, when she arrived, she went into this little room. Anyway, Other Half went to check her 10 minutes later. Guess what? She was fast asleep on the couch. After church, we rushed off for a quick stop to get some groceries... We got home, Other Half proceeded to make pizza while I cooked supper. And what did my gal do??? Her unfinished homework! She finished her homework at 10.30 p.m. yesterday.....

I thought my life as a working mother is crazy enough... but my gal's isn't far off either. And she's only 10, living a life like a working adult. Childhood is lost upon entering school for many kids these days. There's hardly any time for anything else. We try to balance it with activities like swimming for my gal but I think it's just a matter of time before she succumbs to the busyness of her own life.

And extra classes... how much can we cram into these kids. Everything becomes a rush.... a rush to complete as much work as possible, a rush from one lesson to another. Frankly speaking, life becomes a blur of rushes.

Extra classes.... perhaps HMs should cut down on burdening the teachers with all the paperwork. Instead they should motivate and encourage teachers to give their best in class. All these extra classes seem to indicate failure. It seems the time prescribed in the official timetable is insufficient. If the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua brought so much criticisms in the US and other parts of the world over her parenting style... they should try sending their kids to our education system. We work our kids like 'slaves' too... supposedly for the betterment of their future! LOL!

My own crazy schedule??? Well, suffice to say, I was 'knocked out' too. LOL! I went in to check on my gal... sat down and when I next came to, the service was ending. I tried to convince the leadership to have a creche with 'service piped in' via speakers into the room years ago. But it fell on deaf years. So sitting there, hardly able to hear what was going on, I too ter-shut my eyes.... Anyway, when I opened my eyes, the congregation was singing the closing hymn. I have no recollection of whatsoever from the time I closed my eyes for a purported resting of my eyes till I opened it.

Dog eat dog world we're in...


Thomas C B Chua said...

AJ7, many half witted "Siao-chans a.k.a HMs, especially from national-type primary schools, equate input to output like factory production. And you don't have to worry about the teachers obeying the extra class order. They are paid by the PTA (Pathetic ! ) Of course, a section of the parents themselves are happy, especially the business people who have no life, it is free child minding !

Nothing beats finely tuned well prepared focused quality input within the set time-table to maximize learning.

For some of these classes, the pupils will be completing pages after pages of "Buku Kerja." And as the name implies, it is "Buku Kerja" and not the teachers !

Then, the "kerja" will be ticked and ticked by the teachers. The "Siao-Chans" on seeing the volumes of workbooks will be elated. Work done!

mrcheesenut2 said...

I am writing an essay on students taking extra classes. your blog has helped alot thanks. Anyways I think if a student is taking extra classes they should not be in extra ciricular activities, like swimming.

PreciousPearl said...

oh dear. shouldn't extra classes be more about:
1) did the kids catch up on what they should have learnt but actually missed?
2) did the kids learn something extra above and beyond what they would normally have been taught?

or is that just too wishful?

AJ7 said...

Thomas: It's not only the national-type schools lah. National schools also not far behind. Only national schools go more for teachers becoming the the factories... or cook... always churning out numbers, data, bagi ada is the catch phrase these days. Sometimes I wonder what has happened pure hard work??? Boss tells teachers... no need to mark in detail... or finds it unbelievable that a teacher can give a lot of questions and still mark because the teacher makes it a point to mark in detail... I guess they no longer think it's possible cos they cannot do it themselves... a case of a half filled glass never able to imagine how a full glass feels like.

Mrcheesenut2: Thanks and you are welcome. 8)

AJ7 said...

PP: Neither.. extra class is time for drilling, rote... via workbooks. Or just plain discussions... teachers too tired to teach also la.. some more with this hot and humid tropical weather. Go figure how sapped we are by 3 p.m.