Gone are the days when dedicated teachers taught in the classroom and that was sufficient for the students to prepare for their exams. If a child had doubts, the teacher would spend extra time clearing up those doubts at school or at home.
My husband often talks about his teacher. The teacher recognised my husband as an extra intelligent boy when he was just in primary school. He started giving him extra coaching and provided him, with good books to read. Afterwards the teacher saw to it that he got a scholarship for further studies from the Government. Such was the dedication of the teachers of those days.
As a child gets admitted into a school these days, parents start debating on whether to send the child for tuition or not. After every test result, this issue raises its head. With promises of more effort from the child and the parents resolving to spend at least two hours every day with the child reviewing his or her class work and homework, the issue of tuition is shelved.
When both the parents are employed, a good chunk of money goes to the tuition teacher of their child. Parents feel that they can't concentrate on their children's education after a tiring day at the office.
An educated mother who opts to stay at home for the sake of the children tries to take on the role of the tuition teacher. But her classes end in arguments and tears and “You know nothing!" comments from the child and finally the mother gives up.
Even a teacher who can handle a class of 50 today is prone to emotional blackmail by their smart kids when it comes to studies. They extract promises from their parents of costly gifts and get them without themselves keeping the promise of scoring good marks. And they are having the cake and eating it too!
When the parents finally realise that their own kids are taking them for a ride, the search for a tutor starts. Sometimes, it's the other way round. At the parent-teacher meeting the teacher's suggestion that the child needs help lands the parents at the door of tuition classes. The importance of ranks and the embarrassment of the parents flaunting the ranks of their children at social gatherings push the parents of average children into the rank race. And to achieve ranks tutors are sought out.
Parents feel that the tutors can perform miracles so that their child can score the highest marks. They feel that academic intelligence can be bought. Even when the child scores very well and doesn't need any extra coaching, he or she is pushed into tuitions just to go up by a few ranks.
NEED OF TUITIONS - WHEN?
Due to over-ambitious parents and sometimes genuine need for extra coaching in subjects in which students are weak, tuition centres are mushrooming in every neighbourhood.
Tuition centres have become like alternative schools. There are teachers who work in schools just to get students for tuition. Their income from tuitions is much more than what they earn at school. Many schools discourage their teachers from taking tuitions but then they should pay better salaries so that teachers work with dedication. Tutorials are again like schools and different teachers handle different subjects. Only, it's after school hours or before. And then there are the home tutors who charge for extra teaching.
It's very sad to see tired children returning home from tuition with bags on their shoulders late in the evenings, when they ought to be playing happily. Some schools hold back the students after school hours and force them to take tuitions. The need to score good marks, get admission into good colleges and finally to land in a highly paying job is pushing children into the loop of tuitions and they are losing on their precious childhood. The tuition business is becoming an unofficial industry. How it affects the credibility of schools and qualified teachers has to be evaluated.
Whether there is a genuine need for a child to have tuition is to be judged by the parents with the co-operation of the subject teacher. There are many learning difficulties and disabilities which the child may have and which the parents or teachers may not be aware of. It can be problems with sight, hearing or understanding. One example of a learning disability is dyslexia where the child could write the mirror image of letters. Sometimes, it can be emotional problems that block the learning process. Consultation and assessment by a child psychiatrist can pinpoint the problem. Remedial sessions will then ensure that the child is on a par with the average student.
NEED OF AN EFFICIENT TEACHER
Sending the child to tuition classes cannot solve these problems. Sometimes, the problem may lie with a particular teacher who is not well qualified or whose teaching style is unsuitable for his or her students. In such a case the parents should compare notes with others and then approach the school authorities.
When the parents realise that the child really needs tuition, they should investigate the credentials of the teacher thoroughly. The teacher should be qualified, experienced, genuinely interested in teaching and patient. He or she should have a thorough knowledge of the subject. The tutor should also be able to pinpoint the difficulties of the child and solve them. Parents should keep a tab on what is going on in the tuition. Question your child every day as to what he or she has studied in the tuition class. The child should study and revise even with tuitions.
Do not run after school teachers for tuitions, thinking that they will assist the child at school or that they know the syllabus better. Some money-minded teachers may manipulate the results of their tuition students so that the parents do not question them over poor results.
There are well-qualified housewives who do not take up jobs for family reasons. Such ladies can be approached for tutoring kids. Also, there may be very intelligent but poor older students who need money for their college studies. Such students can take up tutoring if they have an aptitude for teaching.
Parents should not have unrealistic expectations from tutors. They should have the patience to wait for results. They can't demand good results just because they are shelling out money for tuitions. Only with moral support from the parents and effort on the part of the student will tuitions yield good results.
Carolyn Joana is a parenting expert who deeply understands all baby needs and desires to share her knowledge with other parents. She offers great, tested, down to earth and reassuring tips on baby food , baby health, home-remedies for babies , baby massage, baby care, breastfeeding and much more at her website http://www.guide-to-baby-needs.com