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The Tuition Industry

Tuition in Singapore is a billion dollar industry. Is this an indication that our education system is inadequate? Or are our children simply incapable of coping with the demands of the system? Whatever your thoughts are on the relevance of tuition, tuition is here to stay, but how should we approach it?

Who benefits from Tuition?

There are generally 3 types of students tutors come across.

Student type Objectives Outcome
Performer: Understands concepts taught in class
  • Wants to gain extra knowledge outside the scope of what's taught in the curriculum.
  • To get a head-start by starting on topics before the school does, so when they approach these topics in school, it becomes revision and further deepens their understanding.
  • The tutor's role is also to provide more challenging questions so the student can be prepared for exams papers of any difficulty level.
Students have strong grasp of concepts and are familiar with tricky questions and context based questions, they will outperform typical students during exams.
Average: Understands some of the concepts taught in class
  • Clarify doubts from school.
  • For tutor to summarise concepts taught in school and present to student in a way he/she can best understand.
  • They also require the tutor's help in getting exam tips.
These students are normally not interested to learn beyond the syllabus as they are already struggling to cope with the schoolwork. Objectives of tuition tend to be more exam-focused.
Distracted: Barely understands concepts taught in class
  • Unable to catch up with the school teacher due to poor foundations.
  • Usually weak in language and are unable to put ideas into words.
  • Have poor math foundation and tend to be insensitive to numbers.
  • Tutors have to reteach from the basics, sometimes even concepts from previous years.
  • Tend to hold many misconceptions and tutors have to seek out the individual misconceptions and clear one by one.
These students are so busy playing catch-up. While others are revising exam questions, they are still spending time going through the basics. They lack time to work on essential examination skills like process skills and comprehension. Hence, they tend to be able to answer recall questions which require no applications. Exams nowadays tend to be focused on context based questions which require applications of concepts in multiple ways.


In all 3 scenarios above, there is a need for tuition, however the role of the tutor in each case is vastly different, how do you think each of them will fare?

Should I hit the panic button?

First and foremost, the purpose of this post is not about seeking more or better tuition. It is about adjusting the mindset/mentality to that of a performer student. This is definitely possible, and does not involve sending him/her for excessive enrichment or prep classes.

Below are some qualities which set performer students apart:

  • Can focus better
  • Has an intrinsic motivation to learn
  • Questions when in doubt
  • Does not take everything at face value
  • Is humble
  • Listens

None of the above characteristics require a high IQ, nor hours of math drilling. They are all soft skills which we can cultivate from young.


How can Busy Tables help?

Our upcoming Experiential Learning classes are designed specifically to introduce these learning habits to young learners aged 3 - 4 years old. With each session lasting 90 minutes, learners get to explore topics in depth, with teachers providing the scaffolding to help them achieve their learning goals.

Do get in touch with us to arrange for a trial class, or drop by for a chat to find out  how we can help!



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