Job Loss
"Covid-19 boost Digitalisation"- Straits Times, 31 March 2020.  Dear Parents, Covid-19 Coronavirus is spurring the use of Digital Technology  eg. e-Commerce, e-Learning..  The following world-wide Economic Recession or Depression (worse) is also increasing the pace of few structural changes  eg. Digital Economy and working (slow) towards a more sustainable & cleaner economy in order to combat against Climate Change, Pollution & Deforestation which may cause the next deadly Virus outbreak Pandemic..  But are we prepared for the changes in coming years ahead ?   Can you guess the meaning of the above image ?  Scientists predict that it has the capability to take over some of our jobs by 2035..  How to prepare our children now to be successful in near future amid the massive changes happening around us ?  After reading midway below,  please read the external Link references and watch the educational Video.

{ Secondary (Sec) 1-4 Math }
Mr  Joseph Ho    Hp : 98250212
Sms/ Whatsapp/ Call me at no obligations :

*  first 1 (one) Free trial lesson for Sec 1, 2 and 3.  [Sec 1-3 (A/E) Math]      (all of them at 2 hrs each).
This is to encourage the weaker students to join in my tuition service as early as possible for academic intervention to be effective.
*  Ex-private school A/E Math teacher.  Specialized in Sec 1-4 (A/E) Math tuition;  Have been teaching Sec Math for more than 10 years.

*  Offers mainly one-to-one tuition; small group tuition is welcomed too.

*  Value for $money -  You just pay for 2 hours per session but it can be extended to 2.5 hr or slightly longer, if the need arises for the individual student/s such as due to subject weakness or to prepare for upcoming test/ exam.
One parent asked me : "Why need extra time if my child is quite Ok in his/ her Math ?"  Usually the duration of 2 hrs is good enough..  But real situation : Can you Read Math Without Practice like other academic subjects..?  After understanding the main concepts, the student still needs to Practise a few Basic,  many Intermediate (majority) & very few Advanced level (if time permits) questions in my presence to demonstrate good understanding & Application proficiency..!  However Priority will be given to tackle their school Math homework to boost confidence, followed by my Math tuition homework (if time permits)..  As you can see, aiming for an 'A' grade requires much Practice..!

abt  75 % of my Sec 3/4 students scored either A1, A2 or B3 in their 'O' level  A/E Math exam.
Note :  More than 75% of my students are at about or below average (60%), including failures..!  Therefore this group of students need longer time to improve significantly before showing good results..

*  In GCSE 'O' level exam (at end of 2nd year) in my former private school  (Dimensions College), I had 18 students who scored As (A1 or A2) in A.Maths, and 10 students who scored As in  E.Maths.

*  Currently I'm also a Math Olympiad trainer in Pri/Sec public schools.
*  NUS Degree in Comp Science/ Info.  Cambridge (UK) Diploma in Teaching & Education.  Certificate in Teaching Methodology from Southern Cross University of Australia.

NUS Cert

Study Homework Habits
How to Score an 'A' in Math :
Develop Strong Study & Homework Habits

Devote time to study and homework every day.  You cannot study for Math the day before an exam/ test.  You need time to Understand & Practise the Concepts learned in your math class.

If you Study & Practise on the same day that you had your Math class lesson, the information will be fresher in your mind.  You'll also be able to stay on top of the work more easily.

Remember that there is only so much your Teacher/ Tutor can help you with.  It is ultimately YOUR responsibility to learn the material, test yourself, and ensure that you understand it.

There is NO shortcut to excel in Math !  You must Do the Practice exercise problems at home.  You may not have to turn them in, but Practice & Applications exercises can help you test your understanding of a Concept or a Formula. 

There are few ways to “Learn Math”.  For some people, learning math is just about memorizing the formulas and learning how to apply them.  But the best Learning Strategy is to : 
THINK  &  UNDERSTAND..!   Don’t just memorize.

The following are the results of some of my 'O' Level students.
I'm taking in more Lower Secondary students too, whose results are not displayed here..



Result slip


Riddhi 'O' level results

My Raffles Institution IP (Integrated Programme) Sec4 student took his Final IP Exam in July 2019.  He sent me a crude copy of his results, and between Math1 & Math2  (A/E Math),  he scored an average of about  90 %  !
Due to Privacy concerns, it seems that nowadays parents are reluctant to show me their children's 'O' Level results, despite my assurances..

Therefore I have no choice but to take a screenshot of my smartphone to show you the best results obtained so far in this year 2020..

Mr Aung is the parent of my student who is also an educator in one of local tertiary institutes in S'pore..

Student  Testimonials

"Please Simplify the Math concepts as much as possible for me to understand, and go straight to the point in my Practice questions..!".

Although I did not come from a top Secondary school in S'pore, but I'm so glad that after Mr Joe's coaching in Math since Sec 2,  I perform consistently among the top 3 students in my class for almost all the school Math tests & exams..!  However due to fact that I'm not so good in my other subjects,  I will probably enrol in a Polytechnic first before considering University later on, but I'm still clueless in my future career plans..  Well, Mr J also ask me to consider a few job roles in Digital Economy eg. e-Marketing, Web Designer, User Interface & Experience creator, Data Analytics.. including the emerging fields in IT industry.  Mr father is currently a Director in the IT Depart. in a major bank in S'pore, and he also encouraged me to consider taking up Computer Science as a future career as there're many jobs..!  Er.. But I'm not keen because I don't study Computing at all..!  We also discussed the possible job roles in Healthcare as S'poreans are Ageing fast, though I'm not interested at all in being a Nurse..
Overall I'm really glad to have Mr Joe as a patient coach who will sometimes spend more than the required 2 hours in 1 session, especially before upcoming test & exam..  My parents say that we will hire him again for my sister who is now in Pri 6..

Riddhi is currently pursuing a course in a Polytechnic after her 'O' levels.  If you wish, she say you may call her for a casual chat to verify any details above, provided it does not disrupt her study schedule.
If the tuition is just about academic Math or Science alone, I will be very bored.. Although Mr Joe (Ho) is always trying to draw my attention back to A/E Math in both Sec 3 & 4, but I always press him to talk about other issues which I find to be interesting  eg. the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown after the Japanese tsunami,  Climate Change as an increasing risk to world conflicts, migration, water & food supply..
When I was in Sec 4 last year, I was considering which subjects to major in College for
my future career options..  We discussed at length about the great emerging trends in this Digital Age : Robotics, Big Data Analytics, CyberSecurity, Artificial Intelligence (AI)..  J say that there're many jobs in the IT industry..  As my Sec school does not have a Computing subject during my time,  J encouraged me to take up a private Computer Programming course during the end of year holidays after my 'O' level exams..
Overall, I want to say THANK YOU to him for being an interesting and helpful coach in order to motivate me to work hard for my future..!

Ban Hong Xiang  is now in Pioneer Junior College.  He took my advice to enrol in a private Computer coding program during his Dec holidays after 'O' level.
He is one of smartest students I've met in terms of General knowledge but he somewhat lacks discipline and is highly argumentative too.   He will learn that in order to succeed in College, he will need a balance of both Discipline & Intelligence..   If you wish, Ban says you may call him for a casual chat to verify any details above, provided it does not disrupt his study schedule.

Jon : "Simplify, simplify the A.Math concepts with shortcuts to get my answers..  Please make it easy for me to understand and do, otherwise I will give up this subject !".
Because my son Jonathan was in a medium top secondary school - Maris Stella High,  he failed most of his school A.Math tests & exams almost throughout his whole year in Sec 3 !   I was so worried at first..
When Mr Ho took over to coach Jonathan,  Jon was so demoralized that he considered giving up on A.Math altogether so as to focus on other subjects..   But Mr Ho strongly objected, saying that the exam papers from top schools in Singapore are usually set harder than the normal topical 'O' level exam standards, and so therefore should not be taken too seriously..
Amazingly in Jon's 'O' level results, he scored  A2 in his E.Math and  B3 in A.Math..!  In fact, his E.math grade is the best among all his subjects !
As Jon did not do so well in the rest of his academic subjects.. after much discussion with Mr Ho,  he advised him to opt for Polytechnic instead of going to an A-level (3-year) college,  before considering any University option for further study after his graduation from Polytechnic..
Due to Jon's big weakness in A.Math,  Mr Ho spent 3 hours in almost every session from Sec 3 June to his 'O' level in Sec 4..!
THANK YOU to Mr Ho for his great patience and guidance ! !

Mrs Tan (parent of Jonathan).  Jon is currently pursuing a course in a Polytechnic.

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Learning & Education  Issues of
Secondary (Sec)  Math students

Some parents have come to me with the following concerns & questions :
Why is my son/daughter doing badly in Math despite having math lessons in school and going for much tuition in tuition centres ?

S'pore schools have about 40 students per class, and the tuition centres can take in more than 10 students per class.  Generally, it's better to be in a tuition centre with a class of 10 students than a school class of 40 students, but this rationale does not always work in a logical way because most schools and tuition centres focus on teaching Topics rather than Math concepts, and use the teaching method of Drill & Practice or Rote learning...

Therefore it will be much better to have Personalized Learning with a Dedicated Tutor who coach just only 1-2 students in a quiet setting..  In fact, if the study environment is too quiet for the student's comfort, I may even advise him to play Classical music in the background at low volume...

ANY weak student can do reasonably well in Singapore’s Math as long as he/she :

1)  Started early in the academic intervention program to address his weaknesses.  Although this should start as early as in the Primary years but from my perspective as a Sec Math tutor, the student should start not later than Sec 2.

2)  Develop a healthy and positive attitude towards Math.  At the early stages, if he finds Math boring, it may be necessary to play some Logic Games with him..  If he questions the relevance of studying Math, we should also slowly explain the important applications in Real life  eg. Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Statistics, Insurance etc.

3)  Develop the Right understanding of Math Concepts.  Most of the students' problems in tackling Math arise due to their poor/ weak foundation in math concepts, and not because he/she is lazy to practise the Topical questions that the teacher has covered in school or tuition centres...  This in turn affects the student's confidence level to master the subject, and this lack of confidence affects his/her motivation and ability to learn and succeed in Math..

4)  Must
be conscientious in his/her studies, and be reasonably hardworking in his goal to achieve at least a B3 in both A/E Math results.  The understanding parents should know that I'm not a magician that can  somehow
miraculously transform a lazy or very weak student from a low grade score to a desirable A2 in both A/E Math results in a short period of time..   If the student dislike the subject probably because of conceptual foundation weakness in his early years which was not addressed, then academic intervention must start as early as possible... However I will still be happy to see this situation as a challenge in order to help the student excel in Math...


Due to the heavy emphasis of Math in S'pore Education system,  Dr Lam Lay Yong who was  a former Mathematics lecturer in National University of Singapore (NUS), posed the question -- "Should the system of mathematics education in Singapore be geared towards producing brilliant mathematicians ?''  The answer is a 'no', at least not in this decade.  The present system of mathematics education in our schools provides an adequate foundation for such students... But we are moving into a stage in our society where computers will play an increasingly more important role...

Since mathematics is indispensable, the next question is :  How should mathematics be taught in schools so that it is interesting, useful and is applicable in our everyday lives ?  This question is asked in most countries in the world at one time or other, and it is even more urgent now in the 21st Century of Globalization...

*  I try to offer more than just academic tuition by providing a small degree of Future Career Discussion (only if time permits).   For example, many other tutors teach POA Accounting, but nobody tell their students that the new BlockChain technology has the potential to eliminate the jobs of Accountants & Auditors in the near future of 2030 ! Many tutors teach academic Math or Science in their separate forms (silos), but even MOE has attempted to reform on this..  Instead we should use the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) education standards to foster deep learning, by adopting a Student-centric approach of Inquiry-based Learning (IBL) and Applied knowledge.  Therefore the main advantage of STEM is that the traditionally separated (silos) Maths, Science & Computer IT (Information Technology) subjects should be taught in an Integrated & Real-world Applications approach.

*  NUS Degree in Comp Science/ Info.  Cambridge (UK) Diploma in Teaching & Education. Certificate in Teaching Methodology from Southern Cross University of Australia.

Despite being a Sec Math teacher and tutor, my education theoretical training background tells me that there's more about Education that's not covered in our schools' curriculum today.  What is the main purpose of school education ?  Is it to prepare our children for a working life in the next 3 years, or  30 years..?
Therefore I have been taking up an interest in Career trends of the near future around 2030 which will have a great impact on our traditional jobs now..  In other words, many of the world's education systems will have to adapt to the fast changes in digital technologies or risk becoming obsolete in view of the Digital Economy that we're already in !  In fact, we're now heading towards the  4th Industrial Revolution.!

Can you guess what is the meaningful representation of the above image at the beginning ? Let me give you a hint -- Scientists predict that it has the capability to take over our jobs in the near future...

Please do not take what I say at face value.. I encourage you to do your personal research, and compare it to the number of jobs lost in the past 10 - 20 years due to technology  eg. Just about 10 - 15 years ago, most of the holiday reservations are done by in-person travel agents, but nowadays most of the bookings are done through online reservations.  In 2015, S'pore news reported that in some of the shopping malls in our famous Orchard Road dedicated to shopping, they looked eerily quiet because many retail business shops have closed down... It's not just due to the weak global economy at that time, but mainly because the retail business has been lost to  e-Commerce !

Industry 4.0

According to World Economic Forum on  4th Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 :     "We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another.  In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.  We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear :  the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global community, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society."

The following is another reference to the emerging  Industry 4.0 according to Forbes  :
The 4th Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, represents the combination or fusion of the latest different digital & scientific technologies such  Artificial Intelligence (AI),  Robotics,  5G,  Internet of Things (IOT),  Internet of Systems, Biotechnology,  Materials Engineering,  Nanotechnology etc.
"Why Everyone Must Get Ready For The 4th Industrial Revolution".

For more information on the growing urgent need to re-design our Education systems, you may refer to the following news article which was reported by Financial Times (UK) :
"How to Robot-Proof your Children’s Careers -- Experts say a Rethink of Education is needed to keep Humans Employed".

AI image

According to scientists, the 3 leading digital technologies that will possibly have the biggest impact on traditional jobs about the year 2030 are :  Artificial Intelligence (AI),  Robotics Automation  &
BlockChain (FinTech finance).
After watching the following video on AI, please spend some time to reflect on the implications of  Self-Learning AI (Deep Machine Learning)  on traditional jobs, including some Analytical ones too !
 Please click at the following youtube link to watch the AI video by Google's DeepMind- AlphaGo :


Life  Skills
(Pre-requisites to  Future Careers/ Life)

Life skills is a set of knowledge and practices that will carry with us even after we graduate from school, such that we can apply these skills to our daily life and work place. Contrast that with academic subjects that our students spend so much time on to prepare them for the national exams or tests, but how much do they apply such academic knowledge in Real life..?

Unfortunately many of the important life skills are not covered in our school acadedmic curriculum, yet they are very important to help our students to succeed and thrive in their future careers.

There are more than 10 important life skills for our students to master... But to illustrate, I will just list out a few critical ones for your consideration :

1)   Emotional Intelligence (EQ) --  It is the capability to recognize and manage your own emotions in order to achieve one's goals, and also to handle empathetically other people's emotions in order to guide/ influence their thinking and behaviour. EQ is a very important factor that drive the Leadership life skill, as the leader has the ability to motivate his followers or employees to greater desired outcome performance.

The social skill of Communication is very important because it permeates every area and aspect of our life. We all need to converse with friends, co-workers, employees and bosses, and learn to respect the social norms and observe the body language of the other party. Unfortunately many of the young people lack this simple interaction skill, as our youths in Singapore are also known as the Heads Down Smartphone Zombies who sometimes walk distractedly in the MRT and streets and oblivious to their surroundings, and can even be dangerous when crossing the roads.

2)   Thinking Skills --  Our schools emphasize too much on the so called Critical Thinking of Academic, believing that this will have a beneficial effect on the working and daily lives of our students after they graduate.. Unfortunately this is not true.  Critical thinking is based on critical analysis of the pros & cons of a certain situation, but the evaluation of Real life situations are vastly different from the academic subjects in schools which have fixed outcomes/ results, whereas in real-life, you must learn to confront different possibilities to the Same situation under different circumstances..
Therefore in real life, we need to apply  Practical Thinking (Actions & Consequences) + Lateral Thinking (think outside the box), and carefully think through the stages of a situation/ problem in order to reach the solutions.. It is only by applying the right thinking skills to real scenarios that it will help us to thrive and succeed in a fast changing world !

Sometimes I encounter my students asking me about writing down different answer possibilities in their assessment, but can you imagine what will happen if our education system permits that to happen..?  In that case, how do you sit for the national exams..?

3)   Financial Literacy --  Some schools offer Accounting (POA) subject which teach our students about business accounting procedures, financing arrangements and business structures, but they do not teach or focus much on Personal Finance, savings or investments..  Almost all our schools emphasize much on reading, writing, maths and science (nationally we're quite obsessed with world rankings eg. PISA, TIMMS), but they are terribly lacking at preparing our students to manage their money.  A research report says that one reason why we adults make poor financial decisions and incur high credit card debt is because we lack Financial Education when we were students ourselves..!


Introduction to  Future  Jobs

Kodak Logo
A small side story - Why did Kodak go bankrupt ?

Eastman Kodak held a dominant position in the photographic film market in much of the 20th century until mid 90s. In 1976, Kodak commanded 90% of film sales and 85% of analog camera sales in the U.S.  At its height, it employed about 140,000 workers and in 1996 it was ranked the fourth most valuable brand in the United States, behind Disney, Coca-Cola and McDonald. However just 1 year later in 1997, its net earnings fell sharply as it was undercut by its rivals in film business and digital photography.

But in just a short period of 15 years later in 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy ! What had happened ?  By 2000, the digital cameras had become increasingly popular and affordable. Consumers gradually switched to digital photography from companies such as Sony. Yet by now, Kodak top management was still blinded by their supposedly huge analog film business, as Kodak executives could not see a world without traditional film.
In 2001 Kodak film sales dropped sharply, but its management wrongly attributed the financial shocks to be caused by the September 11 attacks. Despite increasing signs from digital photography, yet Kodak executives hoped that they might be able to slow the shift to digital through aggressive marketing, and wasting huge amounts of resources amid the accelerating decline in profit earnings.

The obvious death knell of film forced Kodak to change their CEO, who quickly increased its production of digital units.. By 2005, Kodak ranked first in US digital camera sales ! On the surface, their problem seemed to be solved and Kodak was back in the game, but their rivals were producing the digital cameras more easily and cheaply. 2 years later in 2007, Apple's iPhone was introduced in the industry, and increased competition made Kodak no. 4 in the US.  By 2010, Kodak ranked 7th place and their traditional cameras with film lost almost all market share to smartphones.  Kodak struggled to turn a profit, and tried to diversify by making inkjet printers, but all their efforts were in vain. As a result, Kodak had to lay off thousands of workers and in 2012, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Kodak was so desperate for cash that they considered auctioning off their decades worth of patents, which were considered to be quite useless in this Digital Age.

What can we learn from Kodak’s story ? Perhaps the most tragic aspect of Kodak’s decline was that they had already invented the digital camera in 1975 !!  According to the Kodak engineer who developed it, the top management’s reaction was “that’s cute— but don’t tell anyone about it.”  These executives were blinded to believe that the digital alternative to analog cameras and film would have competed and taken revenue away from their traditional business.

But Kodak isn’t alone. Many businesses or jobs that were once big are eventually humbled to small size or even disappeared altogether... They were eventually overcome by so called Disruptive Innovations.

The lesson is clear and simple..  If we neglect to transform ourselves in the midst of great changes (Digital Revolution) of what could happen in 10 or 20 years later from 2015, we may become obsolete in a workplace surrounded by smart robotics.

Therefore the slogan is to always watch out for “The Next Big Thing” and prepare ourselves for it !

Generally the economists in the 20th century wrote that technology held many economic possibilities for the people, and that increased productivity from the adoption of technology would increase their wages and even make some of them richer than before. Although the British economist, John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) was broadly optimistic as in the above, he was also cautiously worried about a possible “new disease” -- “technological unemployment due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour.”

Bill Gates predicted that within just 20 years, many current jobs will be replaced by software automation. He was quoted as saying : "Software substitution, whether it's for drivers or waiters or nurses.. it's progressing... Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill sets... Twenty years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I don't think people have that in their mental model."

While each industry will demand new skills as their fields develop, a common trend is that employees of the future will need to posses a wider set of skills than the more specialized workers of today. It may be getting harder and harder for any future worker to specialize in any subject as a discipline. Rather it will be more of a convergence of different subject disciplines eg. Science, IT & Arts, coming together.

Therefore, to prepare for not-so-distant future career opportunities, our students of today (especially from 2015 onward) should diversify their learning experiences as much as possible. Embrace experiential learning whenever possible, because learning takes place not only in the classroom, but more importantly outside the classroom.

Where robots can replace manual tasks, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can replace analytical tasks.  As AI increases in sophistication, tasks held by teachers, doctors and lawyers will be carried out more effectively by AI than humans.  This will mean that a restructuring of education systems worldwide be needed.  In some countries there are high levels of university graduates who cannot get a job, while also burdened with student debt.

We can get a small glimpse of the near future that is starting now :

Driverless Cars  --  the Automotive industry is destined to change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last 100. For a century, cars have consisted of a combination of four wheels, engine, steering system and mechanics. But the introduction of GPS technology alongside infrared and radar scanning, high definition cameras and most importantly, the processing AI to combine it together has resulted in a truly disruptive innovation : the autonomous car.

Google has chalked up over 700,000 autonomous miles in their driverless car. In January 2015, Audi has driven about 570 miles from San Francisco to the Tech show in Las Vegas in an autonomous A7. Every automotive company right now is planning for the driverless inevitable, in various stages of urgency.

Drones --  Drones are everywhere these days. They have replaced professional photographers at weddings, aided farmers in mapping crops, assisted on movie shoots, and experimentation is going on now to deliver your mail. They’re also increasingly affordable. A popular drone model for civilians costs about $500 on Amazon.
If you’re a cargo driver for FedEx or UPS, drones will expedite your delivery. One could argue that they would be much more environmentally friendly since they could take cars off the road for last mile delivery and help reduce congestion. In US, crop dusting is the most dangerous job in general aviation with a high accident rate. Drones can not only do that job better, but also much safer. Police and traffic helicopters with cameras will one day be replaced by drones. Facebook has reportedly expressed interest in using drones to provide worldwide Internet.

3D Printing --  Today, 3D printing remains a small part of manufacturing. For mass-produced consumer products, injection molding is typically faster and cheaper.  Increasingly, businesses will use 3D printers to complement their old-fashioned equipment to make specialized goods.

For many companies, the logic of this technology is already clear. The first advantage is efficiency. Because 3D printers build an object by layering plastic or other material guided by a digital design file, they eliminate the waste of traditional manufacturing, in which up to 90 percent of raw materials can be discarded and wasted.  The printers can work all day and night unattended. They can print interlocking parts, reduce or eliminate the need for assembly. This will enable companies to shorten the supply chains of otherwise having different parts, and get the printer to quickly make replacement parts. Not only that, they can create objects with geometries and internal complexities that traditional factory machines can’t match.

In a few decades, an aerospace company like General Electric (GE) could be manufacturing jets in silent factories, with rows and rows of 3D printers churning out cutting-edge parts in proficient solitude, and not a human laborer in sight.