Sep 17, 2013

    Govt may study impact of tuition on grades

    THE Ministry of Education may study the impact of private tuition on educational attainment here.

    This is according to Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Education, yesterday.

    She was replying to queries raised in Parliament by Nominated Member of Parliament Janice Koh, who highlighted that "little data is available" on the tuition industry and its impact on children here.

    The most recent data by the Department of Statistics showed that Singapore households spent around $820 million on tuition in 2008. This was an increase from $470 million a decade earlier.

    Ms Indranee said a study on the matter "is something that we can certainly keep an eye out for".

    On concern that students from low-income families might be unable to afford tuition, she said a social-mobility problem would exist if the only way students could pass an examination was if they had tuition. But this was not the case, she said.

    She added that the Government recognises that there are students who do not do as well as others and need support. So, there are levelling-up programmes in schools that could help them.

    There was also concern over good teachers leaving for the booming tuition industry.

    Ms Indranee said the tuition industry had not made "any significant impact" on the attrition of teachers, noting a low 3 per cent annual resignation rate.

    She added that, based on exit interviews and surveys, joining the tuition industry was not cited as a major reason for teachers leaving the education service.