Improvements after tuition
Writer: Gan Pei Ling
Published: Fri, 08 Apr 2011
SIJIL Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) leaver Hazira Aziz used to fail Mathematics, her weakest subject, in Form 4.
“I couldn’t understand what the teacher was teaching,” Hazira told Selangor Times in an interview in Meru on March 27.
Hazira (second from left) and Muhammad Zamzurin (centre) with other former participants of Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor in Meru last year.
Fortunately, she was able to catch up after she joined the state-sponsored free tuition programme last year.
“I like the maths teacher Cikgu Nurhayati (Haroon) as she taught in a way that was easy to understand,” said Hazira, who used to be an arts-stream student from Sekolah Agama Menengah Tinggi Sultan Hisamuddin, Kampung Jawa.
Hazira was able to catch up on the subject subsequently as the tuition teacher re-taught the Form 4 syllabus.
She went on to obtain an A for Mathematics in last year’s SPM. Overall, Hazira scored six As, two Bs and two Cs. But the fourth child out of a family of five children is most proud of her achievement in Mathematics.
Muhammad Zamzurin Faiez Zambry, who was studying in boarding school Sekolah Menengah Sains Muzaffar Syah in Malacca, is another former SPM student who has benefited from Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor.
The aspiring computer scientist used to score C or D in his History, but managed to score an A- in SPM last year.
“There are fewer students in the tuition classes here, so I feel more comfortable to ask questions,” said the teenager, who joined the tuition class late last October.
He said the notes provided by the history teacher were also very useful for his revision.
The two students are among many who have benefited from Selangor’s pioneer initiative to provide free tuition classes for needy SPM students since 2009.
They were recruited into the programme last year by Baharom Basiron, the programme coordinator for Meru.
Baharom said his ultimate aim is to help the average students, especially those from families who cannot afford tuition, to improve their grades so that they can enter college.
The students attend the tuition classes every Sunday from 8am to 1.30pm at Sekolah Agama Rendah Meru.
Most constituencies organise their free tuition classes on Sundays. However, programme consultant Mohd Din Che Ramli said some hold their classes at night, too.
He said in Kuala Selangor, for instance, the tuition classes are held from Tuesdays to Thursdays at night.
Mohd Din said it was up to the coordinator to decide the best place and time for the students and teachers, depending on the availability of the centre.
He has to regularly visit the constituencies around Selangor to check on the coordinators and classes to make sure things are running well.
“Initially the schools were a little suspicious [of our programme], but they later realised it’s good for them too if the students improve after attending our free tuition classes,” said Mohd Din.
He added that some of their coordinators such as those from Ijok and Sungai Panjang are former teachers.
As for the teachers providing free tuition for the students, they are paid RM40 per hour regardless of constituency. The rate is markedly lower than the urban rate of RM50 to RM60 per hour, but higher than the RM30 per hour in rural areas.
Bahasa Malaysia teacher Zainudin Tarji, 42, has been teaching for 16 years. While acknowledging that teaching tuition is an additional source of income, he said the best satisfaction comes from the students’ improvement in their examination results.
“Without a pass in BM, the students cannot get an SPM certificate, so I always use this to motivate them to study harder,” said Zainudin.
Meanwhile, English teacher Siti Hawa Husin said she would identify the better students in her classes to help the weaker ones.
“We’ve to take a different approach with students of different capabilities,” said Siti Hawa, 38.
She observed that the students tend to ask more questions and participate more in tuition classes if the group is smaller compared to in school.
Siti Hawa said the most common weakness among her students is the lack of vocabulary.
“I always encourage them to read more to increase their vocabulary. As a tuition teacher, I can only guide them. So, they must also put in their own effort and read more to improve their English,” said Siti Hawa, who has been teaching since 1998.
Mathematics, History, English and Bahasa Malaysia are the four core SPM subjects offered in the state-sponsored free tuition programme.
Interested students or parents can visit tuisyenrakyat.blogspot.com for more information and download the registration form.
Priority, however, is given to students from families whose monthly income is lower than RM1,500, with grades of B, C or D in the four core subjects.