Forum: Parents should not opt for tuition out of Fomo

In an attempt to ease education-related financial burdens on families, China recently announced a clampdown on its private tutoring industry (China cracking down on private tuition: A lesson for S'pore?, Aug 5).

While the regulation has been implemented with seemingly good intent, analysts have noted that this move will backfire, forcing tutors to go underground - making their services more elusive and, thus, more expensive.

This led me, a tutor of almost nine years, to thinking: Is there a better and more sustainable way to curb this demand?

I have spoken to parents who are anxious and yet helpless when it comes to their children's learning.

While pumping in money can become a coping mechanism for some parents, here are some suggestions for consideration.

First, parents should question their intention in wanting their child to pursue academic excellence. Parents should be more upfront with themselves on how they feel about their child's academic journey.

It is easy to succumb to peer pressure when they see their friends enrolling their children for yet another programme.

It is good to take a step back occasionally and ask oneself: "What's the reason for wanting this score for my child?"

Next, parents could do periodic check-ins on their child's learning progress.

Is tuition actually helping him? Or is it just another filler in his schedule so he looks productive?

Tuition, or any form of enrichment, can be of great help when incorporated appropriately into a child's existing school commitments, but not when it is meant to replace school commitments.

Lastly, parents could ask their child how he feels about learning and his academic activities.

With the recent spotlight on children's mental health, this truly is not an issue to be taken lightly. Parents ought to take an active role in understanding their children's mental state.

I believe that when more parents become aware of their own intentions, they will naturally opt out of "Fomo (fear of missing out) tutoring".

This could lead to a reduced demand for tuition, thereby allowing market forces to naturally lower tutoring costs.

Lydia Chin Kai Jie

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