Of enrichment and remedial and falling in between


There has been some confusion ever since I released the bridging programme group lists. I don’t blame you. Let me explain the rationale behind the department’s decision. It does not make sense to get the whole class down, because most of you are doing okay with English. Let’s face it- if over the course of a whole year you did not manage to raise your grade, it is unlikely that this is going to happen over 3 sessions. The idea is to give some intensive help to those who face problems passing the subject. For these people to get the help they need the class needs to be kept small. I guess most of you understand that.

Probably the part that you don’t understand is the one about the enrichment group. There is this misconception that if people are already good at something there is nothing more that needs to be done for them. I believe that if you have an aptitude for something, that aptitude can be developed so that you are given a challenge. Otherwise you stagnate, and sometimes end up performing below your potential. The enrichment group is an experiment I want to try out. We will be working with difficult stuff- the sort of thing you need to be very good in English to handle. Again, for this to work, the group needs to be kept small. These are people who have to hang back in class because I have to pare things down for the majority, or (in some cases), because I am too busy dealing with people who don’t actually want to learn.

Here is my promise to you. If, after the 3 sessions, the feedback from the group is good, and the rest of you would like to try out the same programme after talking to your friends, then I will conduct more of these next year, and anyone who wants to sign up will be free to do so. I believe that everyone should have access to the same resources. But I also believe that the desire to learn should be strong.

Like I always say- if the student is sincere, the teacher will rise to the occasion.


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