Is Government Regulation Necessary in The Tuition Industry In Singapore?

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a booming tuition industry in Singapore. This has happened to many subjects which include economics tuition Singapore, physics tuition, mathematics tuition, chemistry tuition, English tuition, etc. People in Singapore have been debating whether tuition is necessary in recent months. In my opinion, tuition in Singapore is an inexorable trend. Therefore, the question on whether tuition is necessary in Singapore is irrelevant. The question that we should be asking is whether government regulation is necessary in the tuition industry in Singapore.

Economics Tuition Singapore Is A Profitable Trade

A survey conducted in 2008 showed that nearly all the students in Singapore had tuition and the tuition industry in Singapore was worth over S$800 000 000. A conservative estimate will easily put the figure at over S$1 000 000 000 now. A simple search in any search engine for economics tuition Singapore, chemistry tuition, GP tuition, mathematics tuition, physics tuition will show a very long list of tuition providers. For example, there has been a ballooning number of economics tutors in Singapore in recent years. One of the main reasons is the large increase in the demand for economics tuition Singapore which has led to a large increase in the income of virtually every economics tutor. The income of an economics tutor in Singapore can be many times over that of a school economics teacher. It was reported in the press that one economics tutor in Singapore earned more than S$1 000 000 a year.

Unqualified Tutor May Do More Harm Than Good

The substantial rise in the number of tuition providers in Singapore has been both desirable and undesirable for students. On the one hand, the substantial increase in the supply of tuition providers has decreased the tuition fee, ceteris paribus. This has benefited students taking tuition. On the other hand, the large increase in the number of tuition providers has resulted in a large increase in the number of tuition providers who do not possess a relevant qualification. As a result, many students have suffered from poor results. For example, I have recently come across a so-called ‘super tutor’ in the press who offers so-called good economics tuition Singapore although he does not even have a basic degree in the subject. Many of these tutors have relied on heavy marketing rather than knowledge about the subject to attract students.

Government Regulation Is Necessary In The Tuition Industry

In my view, based on the above reasoning, the Singapore government should not allow the tuition industry to operate unregulated. This is particularly true for economics tuition Singapore as there are a significant number of tutors who do not have a relevant qualification. Regulation is necessary to ensure the quality of tuition providers in Singapore. There are several regulations that the Singapore government can impose in the tuition industry. An important regulation, in my opinion, is to make it mandatory for a tutor to pass an examination on the subject which they teach. The examination should not only test on the fundamental concepts and theories in the subject, it should also include higher order questions which will test on in-depth understanding of the subject. To impose such a regulation, the government should employ highly qualified teachers in the subject to administer and grade the examination. In addition, it should ensure that the examination is not graded by one but two highly qualified markers to ensure impartiality in grading. Upon passing the examination, the tutor will be awarded a tutoring certificate. Parents and students who wish to ensure that their tutors are qualified should ask them to produce their tutoring certificates. There are other regulations which the government can examine and this can be done by consulting with the public, particularly parents and students.

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