It’s a premise where smaller group tuition can be conducted that allows for greater interaction between students and tutors. It is a supplementary class apart from the regular school which the student may attend. Tuition centres ideally has a smaller teacher to student ratio. Tutors are paid by the parents for the additional coaching. In Singapore, proper tuition centres are registered with the Ministry of Education where the teachers qualifications, safety of the premises such as Fire Safety etc., provisions for comfortable learning environment and the management details are verified before they are issued with the registration number. However, there are still some unregistered group tuitions that are conducted by individuals which may simply operate with a business licence. These unmonitored tuition centres get their students who may enrol at their own risk. .
General consensus among Singaporeans is that the higher a tutor charges, the better he is. There are some tutors who make celebrity appearances in the News Papers and magazines with claims of earning millions of dollars per year. People flock to them to enroll as well.
Apart from these individual tutors who may even conduct their tuition classes from their residences, tuition is also seen by majority of Singaporeans as a lucrative way to make money. Hence a lot of people work at private tutors to supplement their income or engage in the job as a full time alternative.
Assessment book publishers churn out tons of assessment books every year flooding the bookshops which makes it convenient for the tuition Teachers to use without having the need to prepare any resources.
There are also tuition agencies which can match students with the tutors for a commission. Some of these agencies have not even verified the tutors academic qualifications nor have met or interviewed the tutors directly.
In addition, government organisations such CDAC, Sinda and Mendaki also conduct tuition classes. Some religious groups, Community Centres and Residence Committees also conduct tuition classes.
There are impressive tuition centres with fabulous renovations and five star services (where get-well-soon bouquet is sent to a students house for absenting from class with runny nose) is also available.
As tuition industry is so unregulated and so widely populated, it is hard to distinguish good tutors. At the end of it all, it lies in the responsibility of the parent (the payer) to exercise some form of screening to chose the tutor correctly. The students’ performance supersedes all other motives and it will serve as the yardstick to measure how good the tutor is.
Teaching is an art. A good teacher would recognise that the “learner is more important than what is being taught”. Teacher should inspire the student by creating a pleasure and unique association to learning than simply being a fear factor or an authority to disseminate information. While a school teacher may have learnt the formal pedagogical methods and skill sets essential for teaching, it is the passion and the motives that would determine their level of success as a teacher.
Once someone asked “Why do our children need tuition when our schools are there to do the job of educating the children?”. Another friend from overseas commented “Why is tuition such a big thing in Singapore when school Teachers are supposed to be doing their best jobs?” These questions may lead us to wonder into many other questions. “Is being a trained teacher poses so much stress that the teaching has been outsourced to private tutors to fill in the gaps?” If being a tuition teacher was more lucrative and financially rewarding, why would a person quit teaching from the formal teaching ground and come out to work as private tutors? Is it a gimmick by the tuition agencies and tuition centres to attract customers using the “Ex-teacher” or “MOE teacher” tags?
In our opinion, one who produced better result in the student and caused greater improvement in terms of grades, mastery of the subject & changed the mindset of the student towards learning is a better teacher regardless of trained or untrained.
There are various reasons why a student needs tuition. He or she may need tuition because;
Based on appropriate need, the tutor can be selected. Casual conversation with the tutor can throw some lights about his or her ability, experience and suitability to meet the needs of the student. Enrolling the student with a tutor is not the end of the responsibility of the parent. Frequent discussion with their children and subsequent verification with the tutor or the school teacher would reveal if the tuition has been effective & has been producing the desired outcome.
A neutral perspective from a third party website may give you an unbiased view. The breakdown & analysis is given in the following site.
The following table gives a comparison of the median rate based on the following website https://www.singsaver.com.sg/blog/tuition-centres-vs-private-tutors-in-singapore-costs
We compared it with DDEC rates to give an overview. *DDEC rate is obtained by taking the monthly fee and dividing it by 4.5 weeks per month worth of lesson hours.
The above table gives a comparison between a class teacher and a tuition teacher or a private tutor