Is tuition a necessary evil?


Ting Wei Quan, Fabian

Assistant Leader:
Loke Jian Hao

Jasmine Kong (7)

Hannah Cheuk Jia Yun (5) - Writer
Loh Wei Ming, Kenzo - Editor

Hannah Cheuk Jia Yun (5)
Ting Wei Quan, Fabian

Questions we should consider:

  1. What does 'necessary evil' mean?
  2. What are the different types of tuition in Singapore? (e.g. home and group)?
  3. What are the main reasons behind students attending tuition classes?
  4. Do those who do not have (or cannot afford) tuition lose out?
  5. Is there a 'tuition culture' in Singapore? What about in other countries (e.g. Korea and Hong Kong)?
  6. A 'Tuition Culture' seems to suggest that there is something wrong about our education system. What are some possible ways to fix these problems?


1. Necessary evil is something that is absolutely needed, however, it is in a sense a disadvantage.
2. The two types of tuition in Singapore are home and group tuition.
  • Home tuition is where the tutor will go to the student's house or the teacher will go to the tutor's house for lessons
  • Group tuition is like the normal school lessons where the students will assemble in a classroom to have lessons.

3. There are many different types of reasons for students to attend tuition. The more common reasons are the students being forced by their parents to go for tuition as they have bad results.
Another reason is that some students are very competitive and are scared of losing out which is why they attend tuition classes.

4. I do not think that students without tuition will lose out. Even if the student is a slow learner, I believe that as long the student work hard enough, he or she will still be able to achieve good results.
5. There is a tuition culture in Singapore, however, it is not as bad as some other countries for example, Korea and Hong Kong
6. I feel that there is nothing wrong with Singapore's education system. The government did not force the people to attend tuition classes,
it is the students themselves who want to improve and chose to attend tuition classes.


  • Singaporean Students are ranked No. 2 worldwide for having much stress.
  • Singapore is ranked first internationally for the quality of the education system.
  • 75% of Singaporean Students attend Tuition.
  • 12 students said their parents spend $500 or more monthly on their tuition fees.
  • 97% of a hundred students had tuition.
  • In 1995, 1999, 2003, Singapore is ranked first in International Maths and Science System. Other countries uses our Maths and Science textbooks!
Global Rank

South Korea
`So... this is the question.
  • Why does Singaporean Students still want tuition even our own education system is ranked first internationally?
- This may means that Singaporean Students find it hard to catch up with the good quality of education in Singapore ~

'Tuition Culture in Singapore'

Most tuition centers are focused on results-oriented pursuits, helping the students to achieve better results in examinations. 97 students out of 100 students had tuition and some of them even spent $500 everymonth just for tuition!

Rate increasing!
  • 2004 - 387 tuition centres.
  • 2005 - 417 tuition centres


Why does students attend tuition?

  • Parents!
    - Parents say its necessary.
    - Afraid to lose out.- "The tuition is necessary, or he will lag behind his classmates because they all have tutors too."
  • Schools!
    - Some schools expect students to have tuition as standards are raising each time due to extra help given to majority.
  • Students!
    - Afraid to lose out.
    - Hard to catch up (Due to CCAs)
    - Slow learner.
    - Shy to approach the teacher.
  • Students that find it enjoyable!
    - Some students find tuition enjoyable and useful.
    - Hence, they like to attend tuitions.

Is Tuition a garfied thumbs up.jpgthing or a thumbs down.jpgthing?

- For students who are afraid to approach the teacher, can clear their doubts during tuition lessons.
- More information are given to students.
- For those who are not listening to class attentively, can have tuition lessons as their 'back-up'.
- Helps slow-learners.

- Students who already have a hectic schedule in school, will have trouble in coping with tuition.
- More homework given.
- Less time to do homework as homework time is used for tuition.
- Less time for relaxation.
- More money is spent.
- More stress!!!

'Hagwon (학원) in Korea'
- A for-profit private institute, academy or cram-school prevalent in South Korea.
- Hagwons often specialize in subjects like mathematics, foreign languages, science, arts, or music.
- In 2008 it was reported that there were over 70,000 hagwons in South Korea with 47 percent of them focused on high school enrollment.

  • Curfew for Hagwon
    - The government introduce a law that bans private cram schools or hagwon from running after 10 p.m.
    - Different curfew timing in different regions. (Seoul - 10 p.m. Gyeonggi Province allows secondary school students to study until 11 p.m.)
    - Some parents do not even care about the curfew, quit hagwon and hired a private tutor to tutor his/her child till the extent of 1AM. They spent 200,000 won (SGD 219) more to pay for a private tuition.
    - 2 million won will be given to those who reported hagwon bending the rules as a reward. Therefore, creating a new job - HAGPARAZZI ^^ (Hagwon + Paparazzi)
    - Since the regulation took effect, there is 150 DAILY (tsktsktsk!) hagparazzi reports of hagwon breaking the rules in the MONTH.

    Teaching in Korean: Inside a Hagwon

'Star Tutors in Hong Kong'

  • Slightly lesser than Singapore, more than half of Hong Kong's youth have tuition!
  • Some star tutors can earn up to US$1.5 million (SGD 1.9 million) a year ~
- Those at the very top see their lives splashed across the pages of the city's gossip magazines, revealing how many luxury cars they drive or properties they own.
- Let's take an example: Alan Chan, an English tutor at a cram school, begins his typical working day by an hour-long recording session at a TV studio, then a photo shoot in designer duds.
Although he is just an English tutor, but his everyday life begins like a celebrity.
  • It is even to the extent which drooling fan girls try to convince their parents to pay for Richard Eng's amusing prep classes.
  • The pictures of the star tutors can often be found in the city on 5-storey high billboards.
Hong Kong's King's Glory Education
Hong Kong's King's Glory Education

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