Do you need economics tuition or not?

Do you need tuition or not?

Do you (or your child) really need tuition?


Here’s the funny thing. I am an Economics tutor - but I have never had tuition my entire life.

I’m writing a blog-post today to provide my view point on the role of tuition and whether one really needs tuition.

Let’s go ahead and address this question. Do you or your child really need tuition?

Is school, enough?

The short answer is, yes - but only if you get competent teachers who care.

Read my previous sentence carefully, there are two important words

1. Competent

2. Care

You need competent teachers for all of the subjects that you are learning, and you need them to care. Why?

By “competency” I do not just mean mastery of the subject. There is subject matter expertise in the subject and there is the need to be able to translate the subject material into what the student is able to grasp and understand. Teaching is really quite a skill that doesn’t come quite easily.

Put in short, someone with a Masters degree or PhD may have some level of mastery of the subject but that doesn’t automatically correlate to the ability to teach.

Also - you need the teacher to care enough to put in enough effort in coming up with a programme that works for the student, identify weaknesses, put in time to coach and motivate the student to help them understand the subject and do better.

There seems to be a taboo in saying this, but I’m going to go ahead and say this. Like any other industry, like any other profession, like anything else basically - you have good ones you have bad ones. You have good teachers & you have bad teachers. If you have good teachers, it can be enough. If you have bad teachers - then perhaps you need extra help.

What is the difference between school and tuition? It is basically the difference between the public sector & private sector.

In school - you get allocated teachers and it is some-what the draw of the luck. You cannot fire your teachers. You cannot request to change your teachers.

In tuition - if you feel that the tutor is not doing what he/she is doing, or you feel that he/she is not suitable, you can fire. In other words, you have a choice!

It is really like going to a doctor in a public healthcare setting vs a private healthcare setting. When you go to a public hospital - you may get a good experienced doctor or you can get a relatively fresh, inexperienced doctor to treat you, you can’t choose. In a private hospital - you can do your own research and you can choose. If you don’t like what you get, you can switch (and fire your doctor!)

Thus, what does tuition provide - choice!

Do you put in more effort when you have ‘invested in it’?

I once had a meeting with a school principal regarding a bursary award that I was proposing to help setup and I was asking her if there was any financially needy student who need tuition, and I can provide lessons for free.

The principal replied that previously she tried hiring external help for the weaker students in school and the attendance was very low because the classes were either free or ‘very cheap’. The principal then added that people generally don’t value things they don’t pay (much) for.

In general, people tend to value something more when they pay for it. They treasure tuition time more and the learning they do during tuition because the lesson is paid for, as opposed to what they do in school. They tend to be more attentive during tuition and less so during school lessons.

Students with tuition tend to be more motivated to do well.

Can you sit down and work on the subject - on your own, and effectively?

Many students don’t have the discipline to set aside an allocated amount of time on a weekly basis to work on their issues they face for each individual subject.

Neither do most students have a rigorous, structured revision programme breaking down the curriculum into week-by-week ‘bits’ to study.

If you (or your child), don’t have the discipline to revise on your own, or don’t know what it means by effective revision - tuition is sometimes the ‘extra help’ that provides you with the disciplined, allocated time that you are dedicating towards revision weekly and in some cases, the resources you get from your tuition programme (it is the case here with our programme), provides a clear outline to how you can revise effectively, on a week tot week basis.


It really is quite logically, really. If you have good teachers, you know how to study on your own, and effectively plus you have the discipline to do so - tuition is not necessary. If you don’t want to be subject to the ‘draw of the luck’ - you can choose from reputable centres, or go for trial lessons, and decide for yourself what works, what doesn’t. Essentially, tuition has a role because some students may not know what is the best way to revise, nor have a clear idea on how to start revision or simply don’t have the discipline to do so!