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Dad and mom splash out on prep courses for gifted programme. Really should they?

SINGAPORE: He has been attending preparatory courses for the Gifted Education and learning Programme (GEP) entry training for six months. But Ahsan Nathyr does not even want to go for the GEP collection assessment next week.

“I consider I’ll be amid the final couple who get in, or I might not even get in,” claimed the nine-12 months-outdated, who is featured in the existing affairs series Speaking Position (watch the episode right here).

That lack of keenness, however, has not stopped his father from forking out about S$seven,000 on GEP preparatory classes so far.

“We really do not think in him building his very own selections (as a nine-12 months-outdated), so we have to channel him a little bit right here and there, but we have to monitor his reaction,” claimed Mr Noor Azman.

“For example … he does not like to try to eat greens, but we nonetheless have to force it.”

Ahsan Nathy, left, has been attending prep courses for six months.

Additional mother and father like him are likely all out to make certain that their youngsters stand a far better possibility of getting into the GEP by sending them to these types of courses, which do not appear low cost.

Ahsan’s father, for example, spends S$650 a month on the weekly courses and S$three,000 on the holiday preparatory courses.

Outlining the variance involving the two, Mr Noor Azman claimed: “One is basically a additional standard session, so he does not … reduce the familiarity with the queries. And the other class is a little bit additional intense, where in a week, there are every day periods to get the procedures ideal.”


There are at the very least ten centres supplying GEP planning classes, with a selling price assortment of involving S$three hundred and S$1,000 a month. These are additional costly than standard tuition, as they are specialised courses and additional intense, according to the centres.

A person cause mother and father would splash out on these types of classes is to familiarise their youngsters with the structure and queries asked in the screening and collection assessments, the two levels of the GEP entry training for Most important three pupils.

That was what Mrs Jenn Lee did for her son Andrew, now 11, since “we didn’t know nearly anything about the GEP collection and screening tests” – not so significantly to activity the procedure as to “help him cope with the anxiety”. She claimed:

(Many others) consider that superior-capability youngsters are superior at every little thing, but they are not. So when it arrived to Andrew, we realized that he has difficulty handling panic.

On its website, the Ministry of Education and learning suggests that pupils are provided queries centered on what they would have been taught by Most important three, and that the structure is very similar to the mathematics and English language queries assigned in university.

The ministry also urges mother and father not to enrol their youngsters in “test-planning activities”, which could “inflate pupils’ scores and not reflect their genuine potential”.

And however, these types of courses have turn into additional common.

DOES IT Normally Function?

Tutor Adrian Kuek, who has been preparing pupils for the GEP assessments for the earlier seven a long time, utilised to offer you the courses only in the course of holiday periods.

But these have been extended to a entire-12 months study course owing to need.

“(Dad and mom) usually talk to, just before nearly anything occurs, “Do you consider that my baby is suited for the GEP? After a single lesson, following two classes: ‘Do you consider my baby can get into GEP?’” claimed Mr Kuek, the dean of Joyous Learning.

“These are very difficult queries. Even following owning taught this programme for seven to 8 a long time, there is no way to tell.”

The Math Classroom tuition centre, which specialises in superior mathematics, has also been given requests from mother and father for an formal GEP planning class. But in this case, its director Tong Hong Mun decided against it.

With abnormal schooling, even a normal-capability pupil who may perhaps not be naturally gifted would be in a position to qualify and get into the GEP. Nevertheless, this is a little something I really do not suggest,

he claimed, citing the distinctive mastering preferences of GEP and non-GEP pupils.

“When tackling a dilemma or a selected dilemma, (GEP pupils) may perhaps like an investigative strategy, so they may perhaps want instructors to give them normal parameters and a sensible total of autonomy to take a look at and appear up with the alternative.

“General-capability students may perhaps not have designed this psychological skill however, and so would profit additional from a trainer likely action by action and maybe elaborating additional on selected difficult points.”


Well-ready pupils might score superior in the GEP assessments, but the dilemma is no matter whether that will be sustained if they enter the programme, claimed instructional psychologist Pamela See from psychology and counselling follow Think Young ones.

“The kid needs to be very enthusiastic as very well to study,” she claimed, suggesting that youngsters would be stressed by the constant want to complete and may perhaps not cope emotionally with the expectations of instructors and mother and father. 

Andrew Lee, now 11 and a pupil in the GEP.

Only the leading 1 for each cent of just about every cohort is selected for the GEP, and the MOE suggests pupils who are not completely ready for the programme’s mental rigour will wrestle with the curriculum and not profit fully from it.

Mrs Lee agrees, which is why she signed up Andrew, who did get into the GEP, for an online study course in composition and comprehension, places in which he is “a little bit weak”. She also bought reduce secondary comprehension substance for him to practise.

The Most important five pupil admits that the likely is not quick. He claimed:

(I) could quickly cruise by way of (the mainstream curriculum), but now I uncover myself owning to review a great deal just to get, maybe, 70 for each cent.

“We have additional research, we get venture function additional generally, and instructors can be at times very demanding about the high-quality of our function.”

Some mother and father of rapidly learners are not deterred, however. Claimed Mr Noor Azman: “I consider the programme provides an possibility for (Ahsan) to study additional matters, in all probability at a quicker fee, collectively with friends of a very similar capability.”

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