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Is tuition really necessary in Singapore?

Why does tuition exist in Singapore?

Tuition, tuition, tuition. At this point, whether it be group classes, private classes, or home tuition, it seems like practically every student in Singapore takes extra classes for at least one subject. The obsessive tuition culture first swept the nation nearly two decades ago, and has only grown more popular since, turning what was once an educational fad into an all-out industry. 

Tuition’s popularity is understandable though, after all, what parent doesn’t want their child scoring straight As? Just as it has its proponents, tuition also has its naysayers - some question whether or not the benefits are truly sufficient to justify the cost. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of tuition to answer the golden question: is tuition really necessary in Singapore?

Advantages of tuition

1. Extra tutelage 

Tuition undoubtedly has its plus points. A significant merit is the extra classroom time that tuition affords students. Unlike in school where lesson time is limited, there is no limit to the amount of extra tutelage one may receive from a tutor. These extra lessons can serve to reinforce content learned in school, fill in learning gaps, or venture beyond the curriculum. Regardless of how the time is used, tuition serves as an extension of the classroom.

2. Personalised curriculum

Receiving tuition outside of school means that the child will not need to be taught according to the rigid school curriculum. Instead, the lesson plan can be specifically tailored to the child's needs, to allow for a more effective use of time. Topics in which the student is confident can be revised briefly, while topics that require more clarification can be given more attention.

3. Focused learning environment 

With an average of 30 kids per class in school, it is nearly impossible for teachers to focus an equal amount of attention on each student. This leaves some students neglected, causing their understanding to weaken and grades to decline. In tuition classes, all focus is on your child, ensuring they have all the attention they could possibly need. 

4. Enrichment beyond classroom content

One might think that tuition is only useful for those who are struggling with their studies, but this is not the case. For those who are already at the top of their class, tuition offers an opportunity to delve beyond what is taught in the classroom - to contextualise the content that is taught in class and deepen their knowledge.

5. Improving grades

Improving their child's grades is perhaps the most influential factor in parents’ choice to send their children to tuition. After all, in one of the most competitive education capitals of the world, it’s only natural to want to have your child be on top. The consistent practice and regular clarification of doubts stretches and maximises children’s potential, allowing them to achieve their ideal results.




1. Costly

The most intuitive disadvantage of sending children for tuition is cost - as the cost of living in Singapore continues to reach new highs every year, every cent counts. With tuition being such an involved, personalised service, many parents think that it must have a matching price tag, but this is not the case. 

While engaging a tutor inevitably incurs a cost, it’s far less expensive than one might think. In fact, even private home tutoring, one of the most sought-after types of tuition, can run just a couple hundred a month. When you consider the customised lesson plans and dedicated tutelage your child will receive, it quickly becomes a worthy expense.


2. Time-consuming

An intangible disadvantage of sending your kids for tuition is the time involved. Between going to work and attending appointments, it’s unlikely that most busy parents would be able to find time in their schedule to ferry their children to and from tuition classes. 

All the additional travel eats up precious time which could be spent more productively - for parents, this may mean errands, but for kids, it may mean playtime. Luckily, even this has a workaround; for busy parents with equally busy kids, a time-efficient option is home tuition. As the name suggests, with home tuition, the tutor comes straight to your doorstep, meaning the time that would normally be used for travel can instead be spent on freshening up and having a pre-lesson meal. 

Do the advantages outweigh the costs?

As students become more competitive, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your child stays on top of his schoolwork and ahead of the pack. Though tuition has its cons, it goes without saying that the pros more than outnumber them. With all of the educational benefits that come with attending tuition classes, it’s no wonder that it’s so popular among parents in Singapore. For busy parents who don’t have the time to chauffeur their children to and from classes, but still want the highest quality of teaching possible, the best option is undoubtedly home tuition. 
Home tuition combines convenience with expert tutelage. When lesson time rolls around, your child’s tutor will come right to your door, prepared with all the materials your child could possibly need and a personalised lesson plan. With classes kept personal and intimate, you can rest assured that your child is receiving the help and attention he needs.
If you are keen on engaging a private home tutor, put in a request with Tutor City.

Tutor City has Singapore’s largest database of qualified, experienced home tutors, and is able to match prospective students with suitable tutors within 24 hours. The best part is that this service is completely free, as the tutors are responsible for the fees. For more immediate help, you can even call us. 

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.