These ''head start lectures'' are part of a booming industry of summer schools and holiday tuition for primary and high school students with 1000 students enrolled in summer school lectures with The School for Excellence, a private tuition institution which has "doubled its intake in three years."
The article stated that more than two-thirds of children enrolled in outside tutoring started at age 12 or younger, Olding noting these figures were released by the Australian Tutoring Association. (www.smh.com.au)
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson said that Summer Schools have been around as long as his memory serves and apply to university life as a normal part of their regular program.
He said that his youngest undertook Summer School at university between her exams late last year and the first semester in this new year of 2012. In her situation, it was more of a catch up subject so as to conclude the undergraduate degree a little earlier than originally anticipated.
Moreover no major educational institution will run a summer school subject unless there are students to fill such classes, and that this is so, clearly indicates that the summer school situation continues to be well received by students at whatever level, be that schools or universities.
Examples of Summer Schools
Mark Tronson says he received for Christmas (at his request) the 1980's television drama of seven episodes "Fortunes of War" set in 1939-42, an English Language Summer School drama of English lecturers teaching English, initially set in Romania, then with the Nazi expansion relocated to Greece and with the fall of Greece to Egypt.
It is not only at this secular level of education that summer schools function, there are many other variants of the summer school that have operated for hundreds of years.
Theological Seminaries and Bible Colleges have run summer schools for several hundred years and today. with on-line studies, these options have become even more advantageous. Missions run summer schools as part of their regular training programs. There are times when a summer school is run to meet a particular need. Mark Tronson recalls that in the late 70's at Morling Seminary in Sydney there was an issue with the Greek examination and a summer school was run to remedy this technical problem.
Mark Tronson says he is aware of at least seven mission groups that run summer schools and who have done so as long as his memory serves. Moreover he's read innumerable auto-biographies and biographies of missionaries who it seems had all attended a summer school, especially in language classes for their destinations.
First hand summer school
He himself has conducted several Sports Ministry Summer Schools in the 1990's at 'Timeout in Moruya' a facility for Australian Institute of Sport elite athlete respite. The second week of January was set aside for this summer school with mature aged students attending from across the nation.
This particular sports ministry summer school culminated with a Night of Champions over a BBQ at one of the local churches where those athletes who attended gave their testimonies. These Night of Champions were hugely popular in the local community.
He recalls on one of these summer schools former World IronMan runner-up Bruce Thomas attended the summer school and spoke at the Night of Champions and one of the attendees was a competitor and could hardly believe his fortune to meet the great Bruce Thomas and listened intently as Bruce spoke of his faith in Jesus Christ.
One of the missionary families that visited the Well-Being Australia Laguna Quays Respite in early January were henceforth heading straight to their own summer school after their respite visit. .
The summer school movement it seems remains alive and well.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html