It can be safely assumed that there is almost no student attending Singapore American School (SAS) who hasn’t heard of “Mathvision.” Mathvision is an academic institution that specializes in tutoring students around Singapore on subjects evolving around STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math). Their most popular subjects being science and math.
Beginning in 2007 in a small classroom, MathVision has grown to a much more larger scale with their classrooms taking up four levels of the Tanglin Shopping Centre.
However, the controversy exists between this math tutoring service and the math department of SAS. The teachers at SAS have stated their clear opinions on Mathvision and discouraged their students from attending the tuition center. However, Divesh Shah, the founder of Mathvision holds a different stance. He says, “We see older students burdened with making college decisions. We see younger students struggling with grade 5 class tests. We meet students who believe they aren’t particularly good at math or science when they’ve never really given it an honest shot. And we want to help.” Current junior who chose to remain anonymous said, “In my opinion, I think Mathvision is very helpful because the teachers there know almost everything and have a wide variety of resources for practice. Especially if you have your test the next day and your math teacher is not available at school, then Mathvision can be your go-to option.”
“For those of us who are slow learners or want a good grade, the resources provided by the teachers may just not be enough.”
Student Aditi Balasubramanian states, “I don’t think it is fair for teachers to dislike Mathvision. For those of us who are slow learners or want a good grade, the resources provided by the teachers may just not be enough.”
Regardless of the rising controversy, Mathvision still continues to support hundreds of SAS students; the number increasing. The real question is, when and in what circumstances will the math department of SAS finally come to terms with Mathvision?
We have asked teachers working in the SAS department to formulate ideas on how to help students struggling to catch up without tutoring outside of school. Mrs. Leipold, the head of the math department, has suggested: 1) getting help from teachers, and 2) Looking at online sources provided by teachers.
Students simply just say back, “It is just not enough.”
As SAS Students, we take part in the struggle between the two math departments: SAS and Mathvision. However, what really is critical to remember in the long run is that students come from vast backgrounds and each learner has their own approach to learning new content. Thus, what SAS teachers may call unnecessary may just be indicating that the course may be too fast-paced and can be a factor to determine how teachers should approach their lessons. For Mathvision, it may just seem unjust to them that they are being called out for doing no harm to SAS, other than helping their students.
This controversy will most likely continue to roar among Singapore American School. But, it is a good indicator that SAS faculty really considers their student’s approach to education important to address to their students. This hot-topic of discussion has not yet seen its resolution which hints at us that we should maybe not take it as a grain of salt.