Our documentary, Intuition, follows a young woman on her mission to transform learning in classrooms. It is a never-before-seen insight into the lives of teenagers at the bottom rung of the academic ladder in Singapore. Deemed "unteachable", they struggle to survive, while their teachers labour tirelessly to help them thrive. Convinced that the best way to master a subject is to take ownership of both learning and teaching, Meixi Ng, a dedicated teacher of these students, introduces Tutoriá (Tutorial Relationships) into Singapore classrooms. Originally from Mexico, Tutoriá redefines everything students and teachers think they know about learning in school. Will this be a passing phase or a game-changer? How will this deviation from the norm impact the lives of these students, their teachers, and beyond?
There has always been an obsession with academic performance in Singapore, where my Producer Lisa and I grew up. Education has become a hotly debated topic recently in Singapore. In 2013, Prime Minister Lee recognised the issue in his National Day Rally speech, saying "We have an excellent education system. But our society is getting more stratified. Competition is intensifying amongst our students and the focus, unfortunately I think, is too much on examination performance and not enough on learning." Earlier this year, an 11 year old boy committed suicide because he was too afraid to tell his parents that he had failed his school test. This incident made headlines and brought the national debate about the Singapore education system to new heights.
The film will be released as part of a comprehensive impact campaign to achieve a few goals:
1. Change mindsets: No one is "unteachable".
2. Change behaviors: Shift the focus away from grades, towards the love for learning instead.
3. Build community: Bring together teachers and parents who want to champion cultivating the natural love for learning in their kids, so they can exchange resources and support each other.
Funded by Singapore (January 2017)