Tuition is comforting for some parents, kids

There are tutors out there, who, like me, love to teach but have no chance to do so in local schools.

Being a tutor is a great way to interact with the younger generation and, at the same time, mentor and help them.

Some students thrive on a one-to-one arrangement because they may be too shy to ask questions in class or too slow to catch up with the rest.

For parents, especially working ones, tuition is a form of assurance to them that this is the best way that they can help their children in their studies. It assures them that they have done what they can to help their child excel.

I do not agree that when a child does badly in school, even with private tuition, the tutor must be at fault.

Any parent who knows his child well enough will understand that most of the time, success or failure depends on the child himself.

If a child is motivated enough, he does not really need a tutor, but if he is unmotivated, lazy or has a bad attitude, even the best tutor in the world cannot help him.

Those who do well with a tutor's help are those who are really motivated, yet also need further clarification outside of the classroom environment.

When students do not improve according to expectations, it does not mean they are not improving; their results could have been worse.

Some tutors may earn big bucks, and may be in it for the money, but a lot of us just really love to teach.

Credentials are important but what is more important is the attitude and integrity of the tutor.

Quite a number of my students do improve with tuition, so it is unhelpful and unfair to call tuition "evil" ("Tuition a necessary evil" by Mrs Marietta Koh; Wednesday).

It makes children feel guilty about having tuition when, for some, it is a source of comfort and the only other means to improve.

We, adults, can debate all we want about the merits of tuition, but have we asked the children?

Chua Lih Ling (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2015, with the headline 'Tuition is comforting for some parents, kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe