Customised tuition does not hurt

In response to the questions senior education correspondent Sandra Davie raised ("Does tuition help or hinder?"; July 7), I believe relevant tuition can improve student performance.

Studies on student performance underestimate disruptive forces shaping the tuition phenomenon - hardware versus software, and global versus local - which are essential to the tuition debate.

An education policy focusing on hardware may emphasise science, technology, engineering and maths disciplines, or better learning outcomes and scoring well in international rankings.

In terms of software, other than test performance, an excellent private tutor builds platforms, allowing students to connect knowledge across arts, humanities, languages, maths and sciences, effectively integrating disparate ideas from subjects taught separately in school.

This role is similar to a personal consultant advising strengths and interests for professional development of students.

Tuition customised as an after-class complement does not hurt students, and is not a waste of time, effort and money.

With the relevant experience, a private tutor can be a mentor.

Local studies have highlighted the cost and ineffectiveness of tuition, but disregard the global disruptive effects of social media, which facilitate students' need for instant solutions.

Underestimating the benefits can exaggerate the cost of tuition.

Tng Cheong Sing (Dr)