I have decided to pour out my thoughts after one unhappy incident when I was invited to upload my portfolio onto a new startup tuition platform named yod**.co but the person in – charge has been quite persistent about me doing something which are against my principles. It is compulsory for me to either
- Post my students’ photos with details such as school or name and ask them to write a testimonial.
- Link their Facebook pages to the website.
I stick to my principles and asked for my profile to be removed.
Many tuition centres and private tutors are doing these, so what’s wrong?
1. Using students as marketing tools
- Students engage us to help them academically, not to use them as marketing tools to boost our reputation.
- I view it as an infringement to the students’ identity since for y0d**.co, the students must show the photo, name, school and other information.
I have even seen flyers of students in their uniforms holding their A level results slips and a cheque (why is money involved?). What really saddens me is that education is treated purely as a profit driven business. When we as tutors see our students, what is the image in our mind?
- A student who is in need of help academically?
- Money generator?
There are some tutors or tuition centres I really applaud who respect the privacy of their students. I knew some of them personally and they have students scoring As but in their flyers there’s no mention of any names or whatsoever. It is perfectly fine to upload a few group photos without citing any names, purely as evidence that there is such a tuition service going on.
To put it simply, to find out whether a bowl of noodles is good: Buy 1 and try it out for the first time for yourself. In other words, request for a trial lesson and see it for yourself.
As a parent do you wish to see your child’s face on a flyer advertising for the tuition centre? As a parent myself, I think probably not. My child is worth more than being a cheap endorsement for a tuition centre.
2. Everyone wants a slice of the billion dollar pie.
If you go to Carousel app, you can see many people posting to hire them as tutors, even students who just graduate from O level, A level etc. Some even post and say they are only free until, say, March next year. It is clear that people are viewing tuition as solely a part time job for pocket money, and that they will quit when their holidays are over. What about the student?
This brings bad light to the good tutors out there who are committed and responsible to fulfil their duties for main reason of assisting the students in need.
The quality of private tuition is dropping because many people regardless experienced, skilled or not wants to be a private tutor. Hence the newspaper reports a survey that minority finds tuition useful.
Personally, tuition can be helpful if
- You find the right person to coach the student,
- The student is willing to accept tuition and cooperate fully with the tutor.