At Bright Culture, which has a branch each in Novena and Kembangan, some 100 students have gone through O-level crash courses for chemistry, physics, and elementary and additional maths this holiday period. Last year, there were about 50 students.
A two-day course costs $268. Besides revising key topics, students have assignments to complete.
Mr Joel Liu, the centre’s founder, said this holiday period is crucial for those taking major exams next year.
“Parents have dreams of their kids entering the best schools and they want to take action if their kids are struggling,” he added. “If (the students’) foundations are weak, they will struggle even more next year.”
Other centres, such as Potter’s Clay Education and School Plus, said parents sign their kids up for revision workshops or preparation courses as they do not want them to “lose the momentum” during the long break.
Winners Education Centre co-founder Sean Chua said a handful of students who score A or B grades attend its workshops. “There is usually no school during this period and students can learn in a more relaxed environment,” he noted.
Mr Jerry Theseira, managing director of EduGrove Mandarin Enrichment Centre, said that the holiday is a “good opportunity to work on the child’s weaknesses”.
Education experts, however, warn that sending students to such cram sessions during the holidays may lead to undesirable outcomes, such as stress or loss of motivation.
National University of Singapore economics lecturer Kelvin Seah, whose research focuses on the economics of education, said:
“An hour more devoted to such camps means an hour less for the child to engage in other pursuits which may be just as important for child development, such as learning a new skill or spending time with family and friends.”
He added: “These study camps may actually have a counterproductive effect if students or parents take them to the extreme.
“After all, students require down time. A mental break from study is always needed to give the student a chance to recharge, so that he will be in a better position to deal with the academic experience ahead.”
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times