Mental Torture in Malaysia

Nov 03, 2010
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The exquisite, completely unnecessary practice favoured by parents in Malaysia known as extra tuition.

Malaysians are an enlightened lot. Such is the continuous need for edification that any Malaysian is readily available to absorb knowledge from the grapevine or the Internet as well as dispense expert advice to anyone willing to listen. The source of their information may not be completely legitimate but no one pores over tiny details like credence.

It is also a necessity to enrol Malaysian children in private or public tuition from ages as young as seven. You might think this is typical only of demanding and pedantic, over-achieving parents but really, it's quite the norm for any Malaysian parent. Because Malaysians can't stand the fact that their kids aren't developing at the same rate as everyone else who's learning the same syllabus from the same materials taught by teachers from school at their after-work jobs.




Public tuition centres cater to groups of students who attend classes in the evenings, absorbing expert insight and surveying their fellow classmates (this is a plus point of tuition centres if you're from an all-boy or all-girl school). Public tuition centres boast experienced tutors who have lists of accolades and achievements unfamiliar to most but always profess to have tips on topics in the major exams. These claims are sometimes proven true due to the high probability of topics being repeated by examination boards drawing inspiration from ancient and predictable syllabus material.

Private tutors can leave a lasting image on their students. Some deliver results. Some deliver mediocrity. Some deliver beatings.

Parents who can afford to, spring for private tuition. Private tutors can leave a lasting image on their students. Some deliver results. Some deliver mediocrity. Some deliver beatings. Private tutors often do not come from teaching backgrounds. They're normally composed of overeducated but underpaid individuals looking to gain an extra buck and to impose their sanctimony on unsuspecting children. Occasionally these tutors will relate stories of their school days and missed opportunities which led them to where they currently are. This is a recommended form of punishment for students, used by tutors who don't condone violence but wish to inflict narcolepsy through nostalgia trips.

The period in which major examination results are released is always an exciting time for everyone involved. This is when everyone gets to see the fruits of their labour. Tuition centers will be quick to publicise successful individuals in promotional materials or think of new ways to recruit students. Private tutors will either become elusive or increase their teaching rates. In the long run, it's all worth it because these extra classes, intensive tuition, mental torture and grade inflation all result in more and more educated individuals who eventually contribute to the country's brain drain or statistics of the national unemployment rate.


This post was originally published on Malaysianisms in February 2009.