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  • Writer's pictureJeannette Koh

A modular approach: an alternative to weekly tutoring

In our previous post, we discussed how the removal of the SA1 has brought about both benefits and disadvantages to parents, teachers and students.

This week we share more about our curated modular approach to learning. Read on to find out how it can maximise learning goals and overcome time management issues and budget constraints

Teething Problems

Over the last two decades, the world has evolved. The internet explosion fuelled the digitalisation of every sphere including education. The way we live, learn, work and play has changed so much that I am glad the Education Ministry has recognised this as the way forward, that we move away from the knowledge economy to the digital one.

As with all new policies, there will be issues in implementation on the ground. The WA and non-WA consist of reduced topics and questions. They will not adequately prepare students for the end-of-year exam, much less, the dreaded PSLE, O and N Level examinations. Why? Our curriculum is heavy. For example, many science facts still need to be learnt and remembered from the lower to higher levels. These are quite redundant as they can be looked up on search engines with just a mouse click. Also with the introduction of ChatGPT and other AI applications, writing an almost original essay is a thing of the past! There will be less rigour needed in the study of the intricacies of language use since AI can select the best phrases, ideas and sentence structures for you!

There is tension between exam-preparedness and learning for interest's sake. Most students learn just enough to score but not in depth enough to cultivate further interest or even joy. It's common to hear students saying they have forgotten everything once the exam is over! This might affect cumulative growth in learning as well and reflect poorly on their final SA2 score.

The higher weightage set at the SA2 (55-70%) also has a psychological impact on parents, teachers and students. It might lead to a higher demand for remediation in schools, or even tutoring services in the later part of the academic year where cramming sessions will be organised in a last-ditch attempt to boost students’ final scores!

Effects of the MOE Directive

In all fairness, the MOE has also mentioned that the curriculum would be looked into to see how it can be further reduced. Until that announcement, schools and tuition centres will no doubt still retain some if not most methods to drill and prepare students for the end-of-year exams, like they have done in the past 30 years. Another question that comes to mind is whether the PSLE would eventually be removed completely. But this is a discussion for another blog post.

With this new directive set by MOE, parents probably feel there's less need to send their children for regular tuition classes. As such, there has been a decline in tuition enrollment. There's anecdotal evidence that this is happening even in the ‘branded’ centres across the island. Aggressive marketing campaigns promising free gifts and drastic fee reduction for new sign-ups before the start of the new term are some of the incentives offered. Parents have never been more spoiled for choice! Not to mention the looming recession in the economy causing parents to tighten their belts and choose more wisely to get better bang for their buck in their long term investment of their children’s education.

Pivoting to address this change

At Fun-da-mentals Learning Centre, we have always prioritised a hands-on approach to the study of maths and science concepts. Science demonstrations, activities and the use of maths manipulatives are the norm for at least 70% of our lessons. The other 30% are focused on exam-preparedness such as time-management, understanding concepts or key words, application of knowledge and analysis of information tables and graphs. For language, the priority has always been to take a structured approach, starting with grammar, vocabulary, sentences, paragraphs, and finally essay-writing.

We will still be offering our staple of weekly sessions in the different subject areas.

Primary school students in a hands-on science session exploring electricity

However, on top of these regular classes, we will be offering short or termly, modular topics or theme-based workshops. These may be subject-based, consist of combined subjects, or may be customised for parents who want to adopt a wait-and-see approach to whether their children actually need consistent tutoring.

These modular courses provide opportunities for students who want to increase their understanding or skills in their weaker areas, but may not want to commit to tuition on a regular basis.

The details of our modular courses will be worked out soon. The schedule of topics/themes across subjects and levels will be curated carefully. They will comprise those topics which most students find challenging to handle on their own.

One important course that we have offered over the past 5 years is our Secondary Science Practical. This course, usually held in September, aims to hone practical skills in tackling the O Level Practical Exam. As it comprises 15% of the overall pure science or combined sciences score, doing well in the practical component will definitely make a world of difference in the O Level Exams.

Student in process of working through a science practical component

We are confident that our modular approach to classes will be a win-win for parents, students and tutors to maximise learning goals and overcome time management issues and budget constraints.

Fun-da-mentals Learning Centre

Established in 2009, Fun-da-mentals Learning Centre has been a trusted learning partner for both parents and their children. We inspire inquisitive minds with our Primary, Secondary and Junior College academic programmes.

Call +65 98472637 for more information and make an appointment for a trial course today!


Fun-da-LAB is the Science enrichment branch of Fun-da-mentals Learning Centre.

With our one-of-a-kind laboratory and specially curated science enrichment programmes, we seek to nurture the scientist in every child through experiments and more-than-hands-on activities!

Call +65 98472637 to sign up for our upcoming programmes!

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