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3 Things to consider before engaging a private tutor or tuition agency

Updated: Dec 31, 2019

A Straits Times survey conducted in 2015 found that 7 in 10 parents send their children for private tuition. The decision to send your children to a tuition centre or to hire a home tutor is neither wrong nor right. There are many articles on the Internet posted by parents sharing their experiences on both sides of the coin. However, it should be noted that tuition classes are investments and should be treated as such. Parents should give due consideration on whether such investments of time, money, and energy are necessary, suitable and beneficial for their children’s education.

Before you even consider whether to engage a home tutor or a tuition centre, you should:

Be clear about your purpose and expectations

Tuition may not be necessary if your children can cope with homework and co-curricular activities while achieving realistically satisfying grades. The money could be spent on enrichment instead, like learning new skills that interest them, such as robotics or swimming, or on quality family activities such as having family meals, participating in sports, or even watching a theatre performance together.

Consider the underlying issue

A consistent drop in grades may be due to issues, such as bullying, low self-esteem or poor time management. This is particularly true if the drop happens across all subjects. As such, a discussion with the school teachers may be able to help you find the underlying problem.

Discover your children’s learning style

Learning is a personal journey since everyone has their individual learning style. It is understandable if a student is not ‘in tune’ with a teacher’s teaching style. If your children are weak in one or two subjects, a tutor may be able to give them the necessary personal attention and help they need.

Private tuition demands time, money and energy from parents, students and tutors. Deciding when to give your children is important as overdoing it may kill your children’s love for learning. It may also demonise tuition from which they could have actually benefited.

In the next article, let’s explore the benefits of private tuition that you can’t get from school!


7 in 10 parents send their children for tuition: ST poll, By Sandra Davie, The Straits Times, Published 4 July 2015,

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