GUEST POST BY A JEWISH SCHOOL PARENT:
At Mount Scopus Memorial College, three students shared top honours — Karen Freilich, Joshua Ludski and Michael Thurin scored 99.85. Seventeen per cent of the 128 graduating students at Mount Scopus received marks above 99. A further 51 per cent scored above 95, and 68 per cent above 90.
At Leibler Yavneh College, where 41 pupils graduated, and Beth Rivkah Ladies College, where 45 students completed VCE, more than half of both classes scored above 90, with 10 per cent at both schools ranked in the top one per cent. The top student at Beth Rivkah was Bina Perelman with 99.85. Ryan Dean was the top student at The King David School with a score of 99.7. The school also recorded top results, with six per cent of its 52 VCE graduates scoring above 99 and 46 per cent, or 24 students, receiving marks above 90. Yakir Landau topped Yeshivah College with 99.6, helping the college gain its best results ever with nine out of 15 students scoring more than 90, with two in the class, or 13 per cent, receiving marks over 99. In NSW, two Moriah College students were awarded first place in HSC courses.
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Our smart little Yiddishe kops. Our future Nobel Prize winners. Makes your heart swell with pride, right?
Think again. How much are these ‘top’ marks costing our community? How much do our student’s parent shvitz to put together the astronomical amounts of money needed to ensure that their little princes and princesses can have their ear-to-ear-grins featured on the front page of the Jewish News?
Who sez? I dod. And so will you, if you take a quick survey of family and friends. You will quickly learn that nearly all Jewish VCE students (at least those with high marks) have had hours upon hours of expensive private tutoring. If our schools are truly that great, why is this needed?
Do those country state school kids coming in with great scores have private tutoring? Of course not! Their families can hardly pay for the shoes that they are wearing let alone luxuries like tutoring. What they do have are disciplined and studious pupils and dedicated and focused teachers. And obviously the country kids have far less unnecessary diversions and extra-curricular activities than members of our young ‘royalty’.
According to www.pec.com.au/faq.htm tutors can charge $40-$60 per hour. Of course, many in our community will demand only “the best” and pay far, far more.
Thus the total bill for a year-12 student can easily top $40,000 !! That’s tax-paid dollars. Meaning that parents have to earn approx $65-70,000 – just for that one child’s single-year education!!! Now, what if they have several children? What are they supposed to do? Go out and rob a bank? Have we gone completely mad? Think about it.
Time for our schools to have a good long look at themselves and question if they are giving the community value for money.