In a poll conducted by The Straits Times, nearly eight in ten Singaporean parents with children in primary school pay for private tuition. Do you belong to the minority who doesn’t send your child for tuition?
I admit that I belong to the ‘majority’. Being a full-time working mother doesn’t allow me to be with my son 24/7. It’s even harder to stay updated with the latest MOE syllabus when I’ve been out of school for so long.
Therefore, sending my son for tuition is unavoidable. Even when I’m working overtime, I’m assured that Edison is in good hands with his tutors.
Here in Singapore, we’re truly blessed with so many tuition and enrichment centers. On top of that, we’ve the convenience and expertise of home tutors who can provide our children with 1-to-1 attention at their own pace.
Since the start of Term 3 in 2016, I’ve engaged a Chinese tutor for Edison. Prior to that, he attended group tuition at two different centers. As he’s rather weak in the subject, I found that having a private tutor helps him greatly. In his SA2 last year, he has improved from Band 3 to Band 2.
It was a huge relief to me, I was at my wits’ end trying to find out how to help him in a subject that I myself are not good at. Furthermore, it’s Higher Chinese that he’s taking (he barely passed in SA1). We were lucky to find an experienced tutor who can motivate him to learn the subject. Much to my delight, Edison enjoys his lesson with him too.
This year, I’ve decided to stop his Math tuition at the tuition center. I engaged a Math tutor for Edison. I’ve also seen good improvement after one term with his tutor.
Benefits of hiring a private tutor for your kids
In my opinion, there are many advantages of having a private tutor – here are just some of them.
1. A private tutor can work at a child’s pace. Obviously, this is MAIN advantage. When your child is totally lost or weak in a certain topic, the tutor can explain everything from scratch and customize their lessons based on the child’s pace.
2. A private tutor can give a child one-to-one attention. Whether your child is more visual, has short attention span, or prefer learning through activity, an experienced tutor can cater their classes based on the child’s learning style and preferences.
3. A private tutor can work on specific learning obstacles. Be it dyslexia, attention issues or behavioural problems, a specialized and experienced tutor can help the child to advance in leaps and bounds.
4. A private tutor can impart vital study / exam skills. These include time management, handy tips like summarising and focusing on titles while skim reading, and strategies like paying attention to what the teacher emphasises in class, in order to predict the content of future tests.
5. A private tutor is flexible in timing and convenient. This is certainly the main advantage, especially for working parents like me. Sometimes, fetching your child to tuition center can be quite troublesome – difficulty in finding a carpark, travelling time, etc.
How many different types of private tutors are there?
In general, private tutors can be categorized into 3 main groups depending on their experience, expertise and qualifications.
1. Student Tutors. Often aged 17 and above, they could be JC or Polytechnic students, awaiting enrolment into NS or University, or Undergraduates or Post-Graduate students. They are the most commonly engaged tutors in Singapore as they’re least costly and have the most flexible timetable. Rates start from $15 – $25/hr for primary school students.
2. NIE Trainees / MOE Tutors. All MOE Tutors are certified by the National Institute of Education (NIE), where primary and secondary school teachers are trained. They’re either current or ex school teachers. These tutors are most updated with the syllabus, and are well-trained to handle various types of students. Thus, they demand a higher price too. Rates start from $40 – $60/hr (MOE Tutors) and $25 – $40/hr (NIE Trainees) for primary school students.
3. Graduate / Undergraduate Tutors. Graduate and undergraduate tutors often set a good example for their students. Students look up to them as they have achieved great results themselves. Apart from their knowledge in the subjects they teach, they also give students the motivation to pursue great results. Rates start from $25 – $40/hr for primary school students.
What are the rates of private tutors?
The rates depend on their experience and qualification. These are the average quoted rates taken from Elite Tutor website (dated May 2017) that you can use as a reference.
Picture Credit: Elite Tutor
Personally, I don’t favour a student tutor because they are the least experienced when it comes to teaching. For the two tutors that I hired for Edison, they’re both ex-MOE teachers. I paid $50/hr for Math and $60/hr for Chinese. Even though their rates are high, I felt that their quality and experiences are all worth it.
I’ve decided to hire a home tutor, what should I do next?
Many parents find their tutors based on friends’ recommendations. There are also numerous agencies in Singapore that provide tutor matching services at no cost (no matching fees/hidden charges) to the parents/students.
However, they do charge 50% of the first month’s tuition fee from the tutor as commission for helping them find a tuition assignment.
Tutor Agencies in Singapore
Here is a list of tutor agencies in Singapore that I found on the internet that might come in handy if you’re looking for a private tutor. Do note that I’m NOT affiliated with any one of them. I engaged SchTutors and Elite Tutors before, therefore I recommend them based on the good service rendered to me.
1. SchTutors: SchTutors only recommends MOE teachers, and they have the biggest database of MOE current and ex-school teachers in Singapore. This agency is recommended by Edison’s tutor. The agency strictly verifies the tutor’s qualification based on their MOE email addresses and NIE certificates to ensure that they are truly MOE-trained.
2. Yodaa: Submit your tuition needs and in 24 hours, available teachers will send you up to 5 custom quotes that includes personal message, references, price estimate and contact details.
3. Elite Tutor
7. Smile Tutor
10. Ace Tutors
➡ Suggested Read: 8 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Primary One
Do you hire private tutors for your kids too? Comment and tell us how much it costs and whether the tutoring helps your kids. I’d love to hear from you too!