Private Tutoring Cost Details
There are several factors deciding the cost of home or private tutoring services in Singapore such as the class or grade of student, qualification and experience of teachers, and the nature and hours of service provided. Tutoring for primary schools costs around $30 per hour on an average whereas the same for secondary school goes up to $40. For junior college, the price range lies in the range of $55 to $60. A lot of the private tutoring services are adopting the “two for one” policy where they take in two students at the same time at a discounted rate. The cost difference between solo private tutors in Singapore and tuition centers lies in the range of $15 to $20.
1) What are the costs involved in private tutoring and tutoring centers?
The first consideration which decides the cost of large tutoring centers or private classes is the grade or class of student. As far as pre-schoolers are concerned, there aren’t many large-scale tuition centers and most of their education takes place via private home tutoring. Going by four tuition lessons per month where each student has two hours of class per lesson, the average cost of pre-schoolers comes close to $160 per student. The cost nearly becomes double when we come to lower primary with $320.
Compared to private home tuition agencies, tuition centres are significantly cheaper with prices being nearly half that of private tutoring. The prices of private coaching in upper primary remain the same as lower primary. However, in tuition centers, there is an increase of $40 - $100 from lower primary to upper primary.
Coming to the secondary section, in private tuition, there is hardly any increase in rates between upper primary and lower secondary. In upper secondary, there is a rise of an average of $60 to $100 making the average price $400 per student.
2) What are the potential sources of additional costs?
While most of the coursework and guidance will be taken care of by the teachers in tuition centers and private mentors, costs of additional resources such as textbooks, stationery, and traveling costs among others must be fulfilled by the parents of the students.
Other than the ones mentioned above, other possible areas of expenditure can come in the form of extra classes or extended coaching hours for special students, special training sessions such confidence-boosters and stress-busters, extra and repeat tests, taking additional course material, and taking on multiple subjects.
3) How do teachers and tutoring services usually charge?
Most tutors who are employed by such services are extremely qualified (NIE / MOE-trained) and hence, usually charge on an hourly basis. Certain teachers attain specialization in specific fields, such as PhDs in Physics, English, Chinese or Mathematics and as such, might charge higher than other typical tutors.
Most tutoring services, be it private or center-based, operate on a contractual basis where teachers are taken on for a fixed period of time. Various policies such as those concerning the cancellation of classes, refund of fees, the frequency of payments, payment options and scholarships, and other financial processes change from organization to organization. Added to this, there are two significant deciders to the cost of tuition. First is the presence of an agent or a middleman and second is the medium of communication. An agent usually charges a fixed percentage of the fee of the first month. Today, with the establishment of online portals, most agents and middlemen can be easily bypassed. The communication matters significantly as courses and classes delivered online are significantly cheaper than those in physical centers or with home tutors. Most contracts are long-term and have very stringent refund policies. Hence, it is advised to go through the terms and conditions very carefully.
4) Some tips to save money on hiring private tutoring services
The idea here is to cut down on the excessive and take steps to reduce the consumption of resources and energy. The basics of cost-saving will include judicious use of notebooks and stationery along with proper maintenance of textbooks. Textbooks and reference books are often expensive and account for significant investments.
Will home tutors bring their own training materials?
Most of the academic tutoring services in Singapore design their own training materials that contain relevant information and practice exercise. However, they are issued in addition to textbooks and reference books which must be studied as well. Tutoring agencies and home tutors do not usually provide whole textbooks but can give you a list of recommended literature for purchase.
Are home teaching sessions available for groups?
Most home teaching sessions in Singapore offer both group and solo sessions according to the comfort of the student and the parents. However, there are not many services that allow groups of parents to customize the student groups. The groups are either created randomly or based on skill.
Is it vital to stick to their plan?
Professional tutoring services consist of experienced MOE and NIE trained teachers who can understand the various strengths and weaknesses of each individual student. The course or goal-plan that they prescribe caters to the unique needs of the student. Hence, it is strongly advised to never deviate from the prescribed action-plan.