The moment I saw the homework assigned to Ethan, my heart sank and I was in a rage. This sort of insanity upsets me beyond anyone’s comprehension.
The image of the homework I was seeing in front of me is an exercise out of a government school syllabus. The learning centre (or homeschools as Malaysians like to call them) -Ethan’s mother has enrolled him in- has been using SPM books to teach IGCSE syllabus. She took notice that something was not right when Ethan complained that the school was too slow for him. He went on to highlight that the school is asking him to buy a lot of unnecessary and irrelevant books.
As usual, the mother reached out to us and wanted to know more about our services. She asked us to speak to Ethan first before speaking to her which I happily obliged to. After getting to know his story, I called the mother to make arrangements for his assessment class.
With every student we take in, we make sure we conduct an assessment for each subject that they wish to take for IGCSE. I ALWAYS repeatedly tell parents that it is COMPLETELY fine if you do not wish to continue to take classes with Pasxcel but at the very least, take the assessment class. Mainly because most schools have no idea how to teach or assess students in terms of learning objectives set out by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE). At the end of the class, you will get detailed feedback on where your child’s strengths and weaknesses lie as well as how to help them achieve their dream results.
On the phone call, I made it clear that there is completely no obligation to continue with us beyond the assessment class. However, I was quite direct with her that she should change Ethan’s school regardless if she decides to continue with Pasxcel or not. The current school is just going to destroy his chances of getting a decent grade for IGCSE. His mother quickly agreed to try one assessment class and see how things turn out. She communicated that he wanted to do English As First Language.
I warned that most Malaysian children are just not cut out for English As First Language as the paper itself is created to assess native speakers. The problem is further compounded with the fact that most Malaysian teens do not read or write beyond the meagre requirements of schools and exams. Within the 15 minutes into assessment class, I can say with absolute certainty that Ethan is going to fail if he takes English As First Language. I changed course and immediately gave him a few exercises based on the latest exam format set by CAIE. I can see that he would be lucky to get a C.
Do you want to know what grade he has been receiving at school? A.
Of course. They were judging him based on Malaysian government syllabus!
I honestly don’t care if you hate me for saying this. Before you move your child to a so-called homeschool, please do proper research if they actually know what IGCSE is and how to prepare your child for it. I have seen way too many disillusioned parents wondering what is happening with their children after they have paid a few term fees. If you can’t afford a good school, please keep them in the national school system and just supplement their education with some good tuition.
No doubt IGCSE is far superior in their syllabus, demand for analytical thinking and questioning style but please do not take the risk of sending your children to one of the “homeschools” where the teachers are not certified and nobody knows what they are doing.
In any case, if any of you do want to do a temperature check and figure out where your child is currently standing in terms of learning assessment objectives set out by CAIE, click HERE to purchase an assessment class.
The assessment class includes:
1 hour- plus- of live assessment with Pasxcel Master Teacher
30 minutes of feedback session where the teacher would highlight in detail your child’s:
- Weakness and strengths in terms of syllabus knowledge
- Ability to meet learning assessment objectives set out by CAIE
- Ability to answer exam questions in the duration set out by CAIE
The tutor would also provide a game plan on how to move forward post-assessment class regardless if you wish to continue with Pasxcel or not. No obligations AT ALL.
Do drop me a message if you need any clarification in terms of your child’s IGCSE journey.