As school syllabus advances in difficulty and parent’s demand for a tutor in Singapore increases, it’s time to take stock of the necessity of a tutor for your child.
There are so many tutors in Singapore today. Your aunt, your uncle, your niece, your nephew, your sister-in-law’s husband, your wife’s childhood friend, etc. They may be anyone, whether they’re fresh grads or school teachers who made a career change.
Nearly every Singaporean has some sort of tutoring experience.
Till today, Singapore still sees an alarmingly high demand for private tutors.
Spending a billion dollars on tuition a year seems like the norm for parents in the country.
The increasingly sophisticated syllabuses and the lack of time and patience to guide are what render parents at their wit’s end.
So it’s natural they look towards tuition as a beacon of hope for their child.
In Singapore, students as young as those in the primary school level may have to endure hours of after-school lessons.
Fortunately, Singaporeans still do have diverse views of tuition (although the topic revolves around tuition for 4-year-olds).
Is tuition a bad thing?
The first thing about tuition in Singapore that comes to mind for some might be blood-sucking, money-making schemes, etc.
But think about it. Without tuition, what can possibly be done to help academically weak students? If you think that teachers in school should be able to fulfill the job, there’s a reason why MOE teachers are quitting to become private tutors.
Tuition doesn’t necessarily only help student improve weak grades. Private tuition can be a great thing to help develop your child’s character, provided that you find the right tutor.
Meaningless tuition without really knowing why your child requires them is what makes them deleterious.
Does every student need a tutor?
That’s an easy question to answer.
Of course, we don’t only mean straight As student who obviously doesn’t need a tutor.
While the societal pressure to hire a private tutor for your kid can be debilitating, tuition really does help in significant ways.
Some need math tuition to improve understanding of concepts. Some kids may need a tutor to assist them in completing assignments, and some need guidance in improving overall math skills.
But attempting to use tuition as one broad method to improve grades won’t solve the underlying weakness, because every shortcoming requires separate attention.
You wouldn’t put your kid through English tuition when what they really need is math tuition, right? What’s important is knowing the weaknesses your young child has that really needs working on.
How can I determine if my kid needs a tutor?
Failing grades is probably the most obvious sign. But don’t dismiss other tangible indicators that shows your child might need a private tutor.
Like what we mentioned, hiring a tutor isn’t a problem.
The problem is that we’re employing tuition as though all academic weaknesses come together as one.
Weak English comprehension skills? Tuition. A sudden plunge in the math grades? Tuition. Skipping school? Tuition.
Not every issue can be resolved with tuition. Parents need to stay alert: there might be a source of problem that needs immediate attention.
While you may see mediocre grades, unwillingness to learn or laziness on the surface, their issues could run a lot deeper.
Can I be a tutor to my kid?
A knowledgeable parent might have the urge to tutor a child on their own, but note that parent-tutoring is a totally different ball game.
If a parent is inexperienced in tutoring, they’ll be inclined to teach the way they think is right. And these teachings often stray from curricular content and approaches.
Digressing from the curricular methodologies can stunt and confuse a kid’s learning progress.
On the contrary, a private tutor could have more understanding on how a certain topic can be taught to make sure it aligns with methods taught in school.
To wrap things up…
Battling the poor grade stigma involves efforts from all involved parties.
But first, as parents, we need to get rid of stigmas that we implement on ourselves.
You might had times when you feel incapable when your child comes home with poor grades. But as a matter of fact, it’s not synonymous to a parent’s incapability (although with some possible exceptions).
Be utterly honest to yourself: are you doing everything within your limits other than hiring a tutor to help your kid? Are you sure their grades are not caused by external factors? If yes, the issue can very likely be solved by engaging a tutor.
Recently, MOE announced a couple of changes to the existing education system, in hope to focus on student’s strengths than academic abilities.
Though these changes could spell good news to overhaul Singapore’s education system, the years ahead will be an uphill battle for freedom in the journey of learning.