The Singapore education system is considered to be one of the most complicated in the world in as far as math learning is concerned. The length of learning certain concepts and the use of the bar-modelling method are some of the reasons that make learning math in Singapore unique from other curriculums in the world.
Students take six years at the Primary level, four years in secondary education and two to three years at the tertiary level. Singapore is one country where the mathematic course is highly rated as evidenced by the many primary and secondary lengthy syllabuses. The Primary Mathematics Syllabus entails basic numeracy skills like sorting, matching and comparing at Primary 1. Hence, it does not assume any formal learning until much later.
The mathematical skills taught during the formative years act as a foundation for learning more advanced concepts later in P5-6 and secondary level. There exists two options of mathematics at the primary level; standard and foundation maths. The foundation mathematics constitutes Standard Mathematics Syllabus upon which O-level Mathematics syllabus builds.
Transitioning from primary mathematics to sec 1 maths has become problematic over the years both for the students and the teachers. That calls for radical changes in the primary and sec 1 maths tuition that can enable learning to be more efficient. Teachers face various problems when transitioning from primary mathematics to sec 1 maths. That is because, the sec 1 maths tuition is divided into five distinct courses that cater for students based on their different expertise in the subject. These divisions include the N(A)- level1, the O- level, and N(AT)-Level2 and the O-Level Additional mathematics level. Students who are more conversant with maths in the N(A) course may opt to study the O-Level maths in four years instead of five.
Teachers have the audacious task of understanding all the concepts and passing them on to the students amidst the labyrinth of courses and syllabuses that exist. The mathematical curriculum in Singapore has often been accused of having too many examples and exercises for students but apparently lacking adequate instructions for teachers. The availability of different options of learning mathematics also leads to the existence of gaps between different levels which may hamper sec 1 maths tuition. That means that teachers have to keep revisiting certain topics learnt earlier for students who do not have certain knowledge since they had not learnt it before.
Sec 1 Maths tuition is also hampered by a lack of adequate ICT facilities that students need to understand the subject better. Sec 1 Maths tuition is also supposed to be student oriented which can pose a challenge if the students are not able to participate effectively in group discussions. Another difficulty is due to the complexity of sec 1 maths tuition that requires students to learn concepts at a deeper level. That can make some students to fall back in their learning especially those who are slow in understanding concepts. Therefore, the sec 1 maths tuition syllabus requires structural changes that can enhance the learning process.