Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuition or to shun?

How much would you pay for your children's tuition? Do you send your children for all the subjects? Do you send them for the tuition because they need help in the subject or because everybody else is sending their children for tuition?

These are the questions that have been going through my mind since last Friday. Some parents took the opportunity at the meeting to ask if I give private tuition. Truth is, I don't believe in the way tuitions are conducted in most of the tuition centres/ by teachers. The aim-for-A concept that is followed is easy money for many teachers, especially when it comes to English.

My parents told me once that I should be giving tuition rather than spending my time doing nothing and that I should pick only the better pupils. Once the children get really good results, more children will come to me for tuition. Well, let's just say that the reason I wanted to be a teacher was not because of the easy money. Nope, nor is it because I want to shape the future generation. Haha...I am not that noble. It is mainly because of the holidays and the free time that a teacher has compared to other occupations. And, ok, partly because I want to help (not shape) some kids like how my teachers inspired me to enjoy English and school.

I digress. So like I was saying, some parents asked if I gave private tuition and told me sad stories like how they cannot help their own children in their schoolwork and haven't been able to find teachers to help the children. One particular boy's mother told me almost in tears that she doesn't know BM and English and can't help much in other subjects. She has been sending her child to tuition centres diligently since Primary One and the end result is that her son's class teacher bluntly told her that unless she sends him to a one-to-one tuition, all the money is wasted. Yup, this boy cannot understand BM nor English and can hardly write in Mandarin. Well, I do want to help but I cannot be volunteering because it would, as they say in Hokkien, "pak pai hang jeng" which means that I am spoiling the market.

So for this reason I have been asking around the fees charged by some teachers for a one-to-one tuition for English and BM. And the price that some of my colleagues discreetly revealed was astronomical. Haha...Gosh...really? Parents fork out so much money for their children yet most of these children do not know how hard it is to earn that amount of money and rather spend the time at the tuition playing and not learning much. And many parents just send their children to tuition blindly without considering that their children really just can't absorb much after one whole day of non-stop tuition. And truly, if a child is able to just pay attention to the teachers in school, most wouldn't need to go for  tuition anyway.

Hmm...what is your take?


Alice Law said...

Hey, it's pretty hard to find a good teacher like you! I reckon teachers have the power to change a student's life, either the good way or bad way (I was one of those... pathetically the later way, lol)!


Gratitude said...

It's sad that tuition for the kids has become a necessity these days. I often cringe when looking at the young ones with huge school bags. I had a shock over the weekend when my Singaporean cousin revealed that he forks out SGD5K monthly for his 3 kids' tuition, since the hourly rate there averages SGD100.

I'm so glad to know that all is not lost since there are teachers like you who still care so much for the kiddies.

Jiawen said...

Thanks Alice and +Ant+ for the comments. Actually, I think most teachers feel the same way as I do but are tied down by family obligations, hence can't do much to help the kids. Believe me, many good teachers don't give tuition. Only a handful of the good teachers have tuition classes outside of school and still keep the quality in school work. Most tuition teachers out there are just money-minded lots.