A: Here is a checklist of questions that two professors from Hong Kong – Mark Bray and Ora Kwo – came up with for parents who are considering sending their children for private tuition:
1. Consider your child’s needs. He needs rest and play in addition to academic development and other forms of training. Are you getting the balance right? How do you know?
2. Why do you want him to have tuition?
- To keep up with classmates
- To keep ahead of classmates?
- Because other parents seem to be investing in tutoring?
- Other reasons?
Ask yourself: Are these reasons appropriate?
3. What are the attitudes of your child’s teachers towards supplementary tutoring?
4. In your own judgment, how would tutoring complement or disrupt regular school learning?
5. Would your child be bored in school because the material has already been covered?
6. Would he be more interested in school because the material is easier to understand? Would he be tired in school because of too much out-of-school tutoring?
7. How would the tutoring shape his relationships with other children?
8. How would the fact that tutoring has to be paid for while schooling is free of charge shape your child’s views towards schooling?
9. If you do decide to invest in supplementary tutoring, how will you evaluate the content and quality?
10. How can you find out and evaluate what the tutor will cover with your child?
11. What qualities should you seek in the tutor? How will you know if he has those qualities? How would you determine the appropriate intensity and duration of tutoring?
12. Should tutoring be a short-term activity for specific needs, or should it be for the long term? If it is short-term for specific needs, how would you know when those needs have been met? If it is long-term, how would you avoid the danger of your child becoming dependent on tutoring instead of learning to be self-reliant?
13. Do you have a formal contract with your tutor? Do you get receipts for payments? Why or why not?
14. If you are dissatisfied with the services of your tutor, what is the mechanism for terminating the arrangement in the best interests of your child? How would you decide if you are paying an appropriate price for the tutoring? – The Straits Times
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