A survey conducted by The Straits Times and research firm Nexus Link showed the following results:
If you are one of the families that hire tutors or looking to do so, there are some points you can think about.
Do I need a tutor for my child?
There are many reasons why parents hire tutors. While Ministry of Education addressed that the school curriculum is manageable without tuition, the above study still showed that parents still do so. There are three main scenarios:
- My child is lagging behind school work and cannot follow what is being taught in class.
- My child has a keen interest or potential in a subject and is capable of better results.
- Everyone in the class has tuition. If I don’t, my child will…… (finish this line)
What to expect during tuition?
A tutor’s role is definitely to help your child improve and excel in his/her academic work. Parents should understand that different tutors have different teaching styles. There are some tutors who may purchase more assessment books while some may use only school textbooks and workbooks. There are also some tutors who discuss only school work while others may bring in more engaging topics when conversing with your child. Some tutors may follow the pace of school work while some tutors may teach ahead.
To avoid any misunderstandings at a later stage, you should understand from tutor before engaging his/her service. Do remember to respect and give your tutor some space but should clarify if you notice something is amiss.
Types of tutors?
Tutors can be profiled by ages, teaching experience or academic backgrounds. If your child finds it more comfortable to be with bubbly tutors, you can consider engaging student or undergraduate tutors who are younger, or tutors who adopt a lively teaching style. If your child can only focus under strict guidance, consider more senior or experienced tutors (to some children, old = strict and serious). If it’s near examinations period and you really need some good help, consider experienced or former school teachers who are very familiar with examination marking schemes.
Of course, the tuition fees vary.
Where to find tutors?
The best way would be word-of-mouth. Ask around from other parents for recommendations. But remember it is not a one size fits all. A tutor suitable for a child may not necessarily be suitable for another. (Yes, results may vary)
Another fast way would be to go through tuition agencies. Their job is to match a tutor to you based on subject, location and budget. But note that the agencies may not know your child’s character and learning style, and will not be in the best position to match a suitable tutor. Set the context right upfront by letting the agency what kind of tutor you are looking for so you get a more suitable match for your child.
Tip: Request to chat with tutor before you confirm him/her. Most tutors would be open to discussion before they officially start teaching your child.
We will be discussing some frequently raised questions about tutors in our next post. Stay tuned!