The coming of age in Singapore where most parents and kids dread – and no, we are not referring to the main exams such as PSLE, O-Levels or A-Levels. We are referring to time when us parents are faced with deciding to send our kids for tuition.
If we look around the (growing) numbers of tuition providers in our neighbourhoods, and also articles on the Singapore’s burgeoning tuition industry (https://www.todayonline.com/commentary/tuition-has-ballooned-s14b-industry-singapore-should-we-be-concerned) you can sense that the engagements of tuition providers will continue to increase in Singapore. Parents will also need to make a few choices based on a myriad of concerns and conditions, most importantly the heavy workload and CCAs our children face.
The first question to be answered is – Do our kids really need tuition? There’s no 100% right or wrong answer to this, but it can be approached on a “needs” basis. Basically, for tuition, there are just two main needs;
Based on personal experience, I have met children who do well in their studies without attending any tuition classes. And when I talk to them, I realise that such students are self-driven AND are not afraid to ask for assistance in school if they require further explanation or advice. In addition, I have met students who are also very resourceful, able to find answers to their questions on the internet or through books.
Let’s be honest, not all our children have all the right ticks. They need a certain nudge or advice, in the right direction. This is where additional tuition may help.
I see the first scenario more often in the school days of yesteryear. As compared to now, a lower proportion of kids back then had tuition. And it was mainly just to keep up and put our heads (ie. our marks) over water. We were just aiming to pass and not get the additional scolding or punishment from our parents, and we will grudgingly drag our feet to our tuition classes. Such cases are still relevant. Students do need an additional boost or answers to get past the passing line in exams. And parents being parents, we usually do what it takes to give our kids the extra assistance in their studies.
The second scenario is increasingly common nowadays. Tuition is a given for kids wanting to do well. And this is based on the increase in affluence and the higher level of competition in schools. In our current economy, meritocracy always stressed and almost every student wants to be that No. 1. Thus, we see nowadays top students who attend additional tuition classes to keep their results excellent.
Once you have roughly identified your needs, then the process of choosing the type of tuition comes in. The most important step that will prove beneficial for parents, the student and tuition provider to have an frank discussion on the type of help needed so that the expectations are identified and efforts made by all parties to meet them.
But how do we choose the right tuition provider for our kids? And with the extra complexity of the existing Covid-19 pandemic, is the search made more difficult? Well, parents still need to research and ask around, take the time to match with your child’s character and needs.
I will try to share more based on my experience in my next post.
Note: The writer’s views are that of an ordinary parent caught (and sometimes lost) in trying to help navigate his child’s education journey, Try ClassLookOut.com in your search for your ideal tuition centre.