Singapore Government Scales Up Investment In Pre-school Education – Implications for Private Tuition

Singapore Government Scales Up Investment In Pre-school Education – Implications for Private Tuition

At his most recent National Day Rally speech on Sunday, 20 August 2017, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong focused on three major issues: Pre-school education, Diabetes and Smart Nation.

On the topic of pre-school education, PM Lee announced the government’s plan to double its annual spending within the next 5 years to $1.7 billion, from the current $840 million. The money will be used to build more pre-schools and kindergartens, as well as set up a new institute to train pre-school teachers.

We receive the message that the government will scale up its investment in pre-school education. What are the implications for private tuition?

Increase In Demand For Private Tuition

Students are taught by their economics tutor during economics tuition the concept of substitutes and complements. Pre-school education and education at other levels are complementary to each other. This means, the increase in demand for pre-school education will bring about increase in demand for education at other levels. (Please consult your economics tutor on the direct relationship between complements if you are interested.) As private tuition is an essential part of Singapore’s education system, the overall increase in demand for education at various different levels will lead to an increase in demand for private tuition as well.

Increased Competition Among Students

The government’s move to invest more in pre-school education will lead to increased competition among students. As a result, parents may resort to private tuition even earlier in order to help their children gain a competitive edge over their peers. This behavior can be explained using Prisoner’s Dilemma, a classic game theory that students will learn in economics tuition at tertiary levels. If your economics tutor has not covered the topic in economics tuition, please read on this in your free time. In short, in order to gain a competitive edge, or simply not to lose out to others, all parents will choose to send their children for private tuition. This is especially the case in Singapore, a nation known for its kiasu spirit.

Bigger Pool Of Students At Higher Levels

Due to the government’s efforts in ensuring quality education from a young age, we can expect the students’ overall standard to improve in the near future. As a result, a higher percentage of students will be able to make it to higher levels such as junior college and university. This means economics tuition teachers will benefit from a bigger pool of students since the subject of economics is offered at JC level.

Higher Standard Of Teaching

The establishment of a new institute to train pre-school teachers will boost the overall teaching standard of pre-school teachers. The competition between school teachers and private tutors like economics tuition providers will force the latter to improve their teaching standard. In addition, students and parents who most likely will benchmark the private tutors like economics tuition providers against the school teachers will have higher expectation on the private tutors, propelling them to further enhance their teaching.

In summary, the government’s move to scale up investment in pre-school education will most likely have positive impact on private tuition. Not only will private tutors like an economics tutor enjoy a higher demand and a bigger pool of students, they will also face higher pressure to constantly improve themselves. This includes acquisition of knowledge and skills relevant to the teaching of the subject and innovations to make their teaching more engaging and interactive.

I am most pleased to see that the Singapore government’s investment in pre-school education have its positive effect on all three parties involved, the students, the school teachers and the private tutors.

Linda Geng

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