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The Real Meaning of Tuition

  Singapore’s education system has changed so dramatically that it has become one of the most successful education system in the world, possibly next to Finland. With 5.399 million (2013) in population tally and only about 300 or so schools, how can parents be sure that their children are getting the education they need?  The walloping head count only creates uncertainties on whether the school can handle every child and if the teachers can  accommodate each of them? Will our children be able to receive the attention they need to do well in life? When the teacher-student ratio is 1:30 students in primary and 1:40 in secondary?  Do class sizes really matter?  The answer to that question is a resounding YES.


Class Size Matters

class size matters

 According to Steve Benton from IDEA the non-profit advisory for higher learning institutions,  “Instructors in large (35-49) and very large classes (50+) were more likely to emphasize gaining factual knowledge, whereas those in small (10-14) and medium-sized (15-34) classes put more emphasis on developing communication skills (both oral and written). Instructors in small classes also reported better student preparation, student enthusiasm, and effort than those in large and very large classes. Finally, instructors in small and medium classes required more writing, oral communication, and creative/artistic design.”

Common Misconceptions

Is it really a bad thing to want more for our children? Some say, that some parents choose to send their kids to tuition because of their past insecurities and frustrations when they were in school, other’s say that because some parent’s ‘don’t want to get left behind’ so they will really choose to hire a tutor to be ‘ahead of everyone’. But the argument is quite unfair. We should remember that the coin has two sides. What about the pro’s? Okay. Let’s go down to the basics. When you say Tuition, what pops into your mind? Perfect PSLE score for my child? Money? Your child will get the highest score and will be on the dean’s list? My child will become so smart and so rich?  As much as we want all of these for our kids, this kind of thinking is flawed.

 What Tuition is about

The essence of Tuition is:

  • To identify the learning gaps of every child.
  • To provide them with the necessary instructions to help bridge those gaps.
  • To supplement where they are weak.
  • To facilitate learning through one-on-one instructions.
  • To discover talents ands develop it.
  • To occupy the child’s free time so that he/she won’t fritter it away with playing video games and to have someone who the child can ask freely without hesitation.

These are the purposes of tuition.

Pedagogue Before, Tuition Now


 Tuition existed way back. In ancient Rome, children were taught at home, sometimes under the guidance of a master or pedagogue. The word pedagogue actually relates to someone who escorts children to school. The pedagogue’s job is usually distinguished from a teacher‘s by primarily focusing on teaching children life-preparing knowledge, such as social skills and cultural norms. There is also a very big focus on the care and well-being of the child.  The result? Well have you ever wondered why at that time there were a lot of philosophers and thinkers? Yes, because their children had the proper guidance.  Their class size is small and most of them do one-on-one questioning which is one of the advantages of having a tutor.

Long Term Benefits

There is a study by Fredriksson, P., Öckert, B. & Oosterbeek, H. (2013) of the Long-Term Effects of Class Size, From The Quarterly Journal of Economics,128 (1). Analysis of the administrative data from Sweden Smaller classes in the last years of primary school (age 10 to 13) are not only beneficial for cognitive test scores  at age 13 but also for non-cognitive at that age, for cognitive test scores at ages 16 to 18, and for completed education and wages at age 27 to 42.

 The estimated effect on wages shows the economic benefits outweigh the costs. This simply means that tuition does not only act as an additional class, but can have long term benefits as well such as earning more money.

The only challenge for the parents today is to choose the  best tuitions, not necessarily the most expensive, and they should also be hands-on in looking through the candidates. So why is it that some of us would think that having tuition is a bad  idea? That it will take up most of the child’s day, depriving him/her of their childhood when tuition even existed way back? Even Plato had Socrates as  his tutor/mentor. So why don’t we have one? If your end goal is to let your child experience what true learning should be, then your means of getting tuition is justified.

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237 Alexandra Rd #04-10
Singapore 159929
(By Appointment Only)
Phone: (+65) 3158 4759
Website: https://www.frankltuition.sg
Email: info@frankltuition.sg
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