Tuition for children is so common in Singapore that if a child does not attend any tuition classes, many will raise their eyebrows. Personally, I have my misgivings about our local tuition industry. As an educator, I find it disturbing that any Tom, Dick and Harry can become a tutor. It is not uncommon to have tutors who are students themselves, or those who have no teaching experience whatsoever. The most bewildering thing for me is, there are actually parents who are willing to hire a student to tutor their children.
I am glad to say that our three kids do not attend tuition, except for a once-a-week Chinese Class for Zac. But if we ever decide to look for a home tutor for our kids (which I doubt we will), I would definitely go for one who has both the qualification and the teaching experience.
Many parents approach tuition agencies to help them look for a suitable tutor for their children. The demand for tutors is a huge factor in the booming tuition industry.
I am not against tuition or tuition agencies. What I dislike are agencies that do not screen their tutors and have no idea what qualifications or background their tutors have. Yet, these agencies would recommend their tutors to parents.
If you are a parent who really needs to look for a tutor for your child, I would think that a tuition agency that does proper screening and stringent checks on their tutors is more credible.
SchTutors is one such tuition agency. According to their website, SchTutors recommends only MOE teachers (both current and former teachers) for home tuition, “so that our clients are guaranteed of quality education”.
They go to the extent of providing a guarantee that every tutor who registers with them are MOE teachers. This is possible because during registration, tutors are required to provide their MOE email addresses. Besides that, they also need to produce a copy of their NIE certificates for verification.
Tutors who are unable to submit any certificates from NIE and their MOE email addresses will not be allowed into their database.
I know there are debates on whether school teachers should be allowed to give private tuitions. Honestly, when I was a school teacher, my workload was already so overwhelming that giving private tuition was something that had never crossed my mind. Neither did most of my colleagues. As to whether it is right or wrong, I would leave it to MOE to review their policies.
Until then, if a child really needs a private tutor to help him academically, I think it is still better to get one who is qualified, reliable and has relevant teaching experience.
For more info, check out SchTutor’s website.
Disclosure: This is an advertorial by SchTutors. All opinions are my own.