"Tuition Teachers" in Singapore
Posted by lovelyloey on February 10, 2008
I was surfing around a local tuition class agency website, and I was curious at the kinds of tutors (or rather, tuition teacher in the local context) they offer. I’m not being malicious, but why do so many undergrads and NSmen think that they are qualified to teach GCE A level General Paper just because (1) they received B4 and above for THEIR GP exam (2) they did some form of literature at O or A levels. Some of them are Engineering undergrads, Psychology undergrads, awaiting entry to SMU … seriously. Even if they charged a really low rate, I wouldn’t entrust a student who NEEDS GP tuition into their hands. And you know what, GP being such a … general subject there’s no way of quantifying knowledge. Unlike Chemistry and Math where knowledge is essential problem-solving, there’s hardly anything to “teach” in GP, apart from what, essay writing skills? Even for History and Literature you can probe the student’s memorizing skills! So perhaps GP is “easy” to teach in this sense, and if I were a tutor in GP, I have it easy because as long as I turn up each week and make intelligent small talk to the student, her grades at the end of the day still depend on herself. Get what I mean? (Then maybe I SHOULD become a cushy tutor after all like all the other undergraduates and earn extra spending money.)
And so I get this recurrent sense that this tuition trade in Singapore is so warped. You have cheap underqualified undergrads to teach students who in turn become cheap underqualified undergrad tutors themselves. It’s an evil cycle, I tell you. And with that many tuition agencies springing up across the country, and seeing how these agents are desperate for their commission, students are mismatched to tutors and I don’t see what’s supposed to come out of it all. I guess if I were a parent I can’t complain about the quality of tutors offered because I didn’t even pay a cent to agents to secure a qualified legit tutor to coach my child.