Did you know? According to a WhitePaper published by Blackbox Research, it was discovered that 80% of Singaporeans believe that tuition is beneficial to children’s education and more than half spend more than $500/month on tuition enrichment.
In fact, another study revealed that an estimated 97% of students in Singapore attended some form of enrichment or tuition classes.
Whether you’re expecting your first child or have a young adolescent child, it is useful to arm yourself with more knowledge about the tuition and enrichment space in Singapore.
In this article, you can learn 5 crucial things to look out for when you are choosing and finding for enrichment or tuition classes.
1. Tuition or Enrichment?
The first thing you should be aware of is the difference between tuition programmes and enrichment programmes.
Enrichment centres focus on concepts not covered in formal schooling, but can help your child holistically. If you can afford the time and money to allow your child to experiment, you can try out enrichment classes such as Heguru brain training offered by Heguru Education Centre, or let your child learn a new hobby such as music or abacus. You can find a cool list of enrichment programs here.
Tuition programmes range from tuition centres that offer various tuition classes to tuition agencies that specialize in 1-to-1 home tuition. The focus is more on subjects that are being taught in school, and generally the goal is to achieve academic improvement rather than holistic development. Tuition programmes are a good idea if your child’s examinations are approaching and/or your child is struggling mightily in specific subjects. It is important to tackle weak areas early so that it does not become a burden to the child as the subject gets harder and harder.
2. Qualifications of the teachers
A wise man once said, ‘A good teacher is a doctor who heals ignorance and an artist who inspires creativity’. Whether you decide to have tuition or enrichment, it is very important to find out the qualifications of the teachers who will be teaching your child.
Don’t be afraid to ask the tuition or enrichment centre about the qualifications of its teachers. Good tuition centres or agencies will not hesitate to list out all the qualifications, achievements, and experience of its tutors, whereas centres that have something hide should be avoided.
However, one thing to note is to be careful not too focused on paper qualifications. It is also important to take into account the tutor’s overall experiences, specializations, and personality. Sometimes, a tutor who has specific experience may be more effective than someone who has a higher paper qualification but less experience.
3. Classroom environment and teacher-student interaction
It is helpful to be aware of the class size: Is it 40, 20, 10, 5, or just 1 student in a class? What is the student to teacher ratio? Generally, the larger the student to teacher ratio, the less effective a class will be as the teacher has to divide his or her attention amongst many kids. Tuition rates will generally be lower for larger classes too.
Do consider your motivations and goals for your child carefully. If your child just wants to learn Chinese for fun, it is not a bad idea to send them to a class of 20 students. But if your child cannot keep up with the Chinese lessons in school and has an upcoming examination, it may be wiser to recruit a private tutor from a tuition agency to give your child personalized lessons.
4. Track records and parent testimonials
When it comes down to it, the proof is in the pudding. Has the tuition or enrichment centre proven itself to produce desired results? Knowing the track record of the centre and reading parents testimonials helps you to identify which centre can help your child succeed.
However, be wary of fake testimonials and records. Information listed on websites can be easily faked and forged. Generally, the most reliable source of information on testimonials are found on social media pages, for businesses that allow reviews.
5. Timings, convenience, & flexbility
Finally, do take into consideration the nitty gritty details. Timing is an often overlooked factor. If you pick timings such as in the evening after your child has had a long day at school, chances are your child will have low energy by the end of the day and thus benefit minimally from the enrichment class. It is better to pick a day where your child has a short day in school or perhaps on weekend mornings/early afternoons so that your child can go out and play after completing the class.
Another factor to consider is the flexibility of the tuition centre. If your child is sick and you miss a class, do you still have to pay? Does the programme offer a make-up class so that your child will not fall behind?
Such factors are very basic but often overlooked by parents who are not experience in engaging tuition. It will do you wonders to negotiate these terms in advance before deciding and picking on a centre to have your enrichment or tuition class.
With that, we wish you the best in your search for a good enrichment centre, tuition centre, or tuition agency!