Is It Necessary And Beneficial To Have Private Tuition?

I had an interesting parental conversation with my colleagues over lunch about our children’s academic performance and what we think will effectively help them enhance their performance in class. During the conversation, I proudly shared with other ladies at the table how we prepared our son for all his school subjects in order for him to achieve academic excellence. I was then prompted the following questions:

Is it necessary to have private tuition?

Will private tuition add to our children’s existing workload?

Necessary to Have Private Tuition

There has been long-standing argument over private tuition, be it English tuition, mathematics tuition or science and economics tuition. Some question its effectiveness in helping the students gain a competitive edge over their peers. However, the fact that the majority of the students in Singapore have private tuition is a testament to its effectiveness. One good example will be my friend’s daughter. She used to get an “E” for her JC A-Level Economics. 3 months before her Singapore Cambridge GCE A-Level examination, my friend was so desperate that he turned to me for help. I referred him to Mr Edmund Quek, a well sought-after economics tutor in Singapore, who has decade-long experience in teaching economics tuition. It was expected that the economics tutor would be able to help her improve her grades in the last 3 months. What was not expected was to what extent the economics tutor managed to help her. She scored an “A”! My friend was overjoyed to learn about this and I need not say how grateful he was to the economics tutor. This is not an isolated case. I can give dozens more such examples.

Therefore, it is necessary to have private tuition, especially when your child is struggling with a subject. The key is, to find an excellent tutor who is knowledgeable in the subject and knows how to impart his vast knowledge to the students.

Private Tuition Will Not Add to Existing Workload

During my conversation with my colleagues, they complained to me the heavy workload of their children. Their conclusion, private tuition will add to their already heavy workload and hence may not be desirable? This is half true. I have come across many parents, who blindly send their children to tuitions for all school subjects. Their poor children end up with a packed schedule of tuitions from Monday to Sunday. As they are so busy going from class to class, I doubt how much time they are left with to digest and absorb.

I believe whether private tuition will add to or lighten the students’ workload very much depends on how we use it.

Analyse Your Needs and Identify Your Weakest Subjects

It is important that parents, together with their children, analyse carefully their needs. Which are the weakest subjects that need reinforcement most? The fact that your child is weakest in these subjects also means that there is most room for improvement.

Choose Carefully the Best Tutor

After identifying the weakest subjects, they are to look for the best tutor available to help their children in the subject. According to media reports, most parents rely on words of mouth when choosing private tutors for their children. In my friend’s case, he asked me to refer an economics tutor for his daughter.

Nowadays, the majority of students turn to their classmates or friends for reference of tutors. Some economics tuition teachers that I know offer incentives for their students to refer their classmates or friends to join their economics tuition classes. Of course, the students should not do this just for the monetary reward. Instead, they should refer their classmates or friends to the economics tutor only if they themselves are convinced that the economics tutor is a good one.

In short, the key to make private tuition work to our best benefit is to be selective. This applies to both the tuition subjects and the tutors.

Linda Geng

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