Tuition Center vs Private Tutor: Which is the Better Option?

5 June, 2011 by Jackie Wong

O ne of the biggest debates with regard to finding the right educational supplement for your child is the choice between attending a tuition class and engaging a private tutor.  A quick search on the internet will give you tonnes of results with opinions pretty much split evenly among the two camps.

Parents who recommend enrolment in tuition classes generally prefer the benefit of having reputed education professionals with proven track records. Teachers at tuition centres are trained in techniques of delivering materials effectively and efficiently to achieve the desired results. Most of them have been employed in educational intuitions before, giving them a better understanding of teaching syllabus and examination requirements. Their skills and knowledge can be reviewed by the results of previous classes under their charge. This gives parents something quantifiable for their evaluation of different tuition options.

Private tutors on the other hand do not offer such transparent assessment of their performance. In fact, credibility is a big issue because there is no hard evidence on the results achieved by the tutors. Parents usually have to rely on overall academic records of the tutors to see if they have the right credentials. There is also the concern that since the careers of private tutors are less directly implicated by the results of their students, they may not work as hard as teachers at tuition centres to achieve good results.

This is where a good Tuition Agency will come in handy.

Each agency has its own established tutor base from which they make recommendations according to the request of prospective clients. The system used to maintain this database will have a huge impact on the assurance parents can get.

One prominent feature of a good tuition agency is the presence of an adequate governance infrastructure that monitor and ensure sufficient accuracy to tutors’ personal details. Engagement with clients should not stop the moment they have selected their tutor of choice or when lessons commence. A feedback channel should be available for parents to make comments about the performance of the tutors they have hired. The information should be archived and utilised in future to hold tutors accountable and at the same time, allow for performance review.

Beside a good monitoring system, tuition agency should also offer an array of possible candidates for clients to choose from. This matching process is essential in empowering parents with the knowledge of the choices available to them. The advantage of this is that the tuition fee is flexible as compared to tuition centres. While tuition centres may offer various packages designed for different levels, they are commonly of standard pricing. Tuition agencies are able to offer a range of tutors to accommodate the needs of parents. For example, for children who are younger, parents can choose younger tutors with less experience at more affordable rates.

Tuition agencies function very much similar to tuition centres in quality control and assurance. Just like good tuition centres, reputable tuition agencies are those that show initiatives in holding their tutors accountable for the results of their children under their care. The added benefit of tuition agency is that it provide greater flexibility in the choice of tutor and rates.    

The fact is, both options have their fair share of benefits and disadvantages. The key lies in the needs of your child. It is important to understand what kind of educational assistance you are looking for before deciding the best option for your child.


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