Sunday, 13 February 2011

Primary School Tuition

Does Your Child Need Tuition?
Very often, we hear the desperate cries from concerned parents: "Will my child cope well in school?" Tuition, otherwise known as enrichment classes, has become part and parcel of almost every student's learning journey. The necessity of tuition or enrichment classes should be considered before enrolling your child for them. I had another student, Jack (fictitious name to protect the identity), whose mother sent him for classes in a tuition centre which claimed to improve one's chances of getting into the Gifted Education Programme (GEP). If, after mulling over these two factors, you still believe that your child would be better off with tuition, then proceed to look for a private home tutor who can give your child individual attention. With the numerous tuition agencies online, how would one know which tuition agency to request a tutor from?
Does experience matter? Counter-intuitive as it may seem, relieving your child of extra-curricular lessons may be the key to improving your child's grades.
For most schools tuition is the primary source of income. Many schools set their tuition based upon what they think the families can afford. There is concern that if the tuition reflected the value of the education and experience no one could afford it.
Is keeping the cost of tuition low really the right decision? Yes, it is important to ensure the tuition is affordable. It is also important to ensure the tuition expresses the value. Parochial schools try hard to ensure that every student has a high quality, life-changing experience. The strength of every Christian school lies in its ability to provide a high quality, life-changing experience. Appropriately priced tuition is an important component of the financial base.
The parents will influence the referral sources and the students. Strong parental comments have a significant influence on referral sources. Do those quotes highlight the strengths of the school and justify the tuition? Does that tell the prospective family that sending a student to the school is worth the tuition? There are public school parents who say the same thing without paying tuition. Let us assume that a realistic tuition for the school is $8,000 per year. The other perspective is, are the students receiving the value? It is easy for families, referral sources, the community, and donors to understand the value of a lower pregnancy rate. It creates a compelling case for supporting the school and enrolling a student. It is value rich.
There has to be more than just academic success (what the public schools offer) to achieve something more than the public schools are offering. Setting the tuition appropriately ensures the mission is sustainable.
Set the tuition so that it reflects the value of the experience (education, spiritual growth, life skills, physical development, and emotional development)
Ensure the donors understand the value
Work with the donors to ensure they underwrite a significant portion of the tuition so that it remains affordable for all of the families the school serves
Traditionally, schools think about what parents can afford rather than what parents need and value. Tuition based upon what parents can afford is much lower than value and need. It also often implies that the quality is lower than the actual experience of the students.
It is extremely difficult to have value-based tuition without significant outside support. For all of the other schools it is critical to have highly satisfied families, enthusiastic referral sources, and generous donors. Is your tuition set appropriately for the value you want to provide? Do you need help balancing tuition and value to ensure a sustainable mission?
If a child had doubts, the teacher would spend extra time clearing up those doubts at school or at home.
The teacher recognised my husband as an extra intelligent boy when he was just in primary school. As a child gets admitted into a school these days, parents start debating on whether to send the child for tuition or not. With promises of more effort from the child and the parents resolving to spend at least two hours every day with the child reviewing his or her class work and homework, the issue of tuition is shelved.
When both the parents are employed, a good chunk of money goes to the tuition teacher of their child. An educated mother who opts to stay at home for the sake of the children tries to take on the role of the tuition teacher. At the parent-teacher meeting the teacher's suggestion that the child needs help lands the parents at the door of tuition classes. The importance of ranks and the embarrassment of the parents flaunting the ranks of their children at social gatherings push the parents of average children into the rank race. Parents feel that the tutors can perform miracles so that their child can score the highest marks. NEED OF TUITIONS - WHEN?
Due to over-ambitious parents and sometimes genuine need for extra coaching in subjects in which students are weak, tuition centres are mushrooming in every neighbourhood.
Tuition centres have become like alternative schools. There are teachers who work in schools just to get students for tuition. Their income from tuitions is much more than what they earn at school. Many schools discourage their teachers from taking tuitions but then they should pay better salaries so that teachers work with dedication. Tutorials are again like schools and different teachers handle different subjects. Only, it's after school hours or before. Some schools hold back the students after school hours and force them to take tuitions. The tuition business is becoming an unofficial industry. How it affects the credibility of schools and qualified teachers has to be evaluated.
Whether there is a genuine need for a child to have tuition is to be judged by the parents with the co-operation of the subject teacher. There are many learning difficulties and disabilities which the child may have and which the parents or teachers may not be aware of. Consultation and assessment by a child psychiatrist can pinpoint the problem. Remedial sessions will then ensure that the child is on a par with the average student.
Sending the child to tuition classes cannot solve these problems. When the parents realise that the child really needs tuition, they should investigate the credentials of the teacher thoroughly. The teacher should be qualified, experienced, genuinely interested in teaching and patient. Parents should keep a tab on what is going on in the tuition. Question your child every day as to what he or she has studied in the tuition class. The child should study and revise even with tuitions.
Do not run after school teachers for tuitions, thinking that they will assist the child at school or that they know the syllabus better. Some money-minded teachers may manipulate the results of their tuition students so that the parents do not question them over poor results.
Parents should not have unrealistic expectations from tutors. Only with moral support from the parents and effort on the part of the student will tuitions yield good results.


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