Should we ban tuition?

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Private tuition in Singapore has been getting more and more popular over the years. The reason behind this lies in the exceptionally high regard Singaporeans have for higher academic excellence. Singapore is one of those few countries where your academic score decides where you stand on the societal pyramid.

And so, while a majority of the people around the world are busy trying to make more money, the Singaporean youth are focused on making sure their kids get the best scores in their studies. And they’re not afraid of spending thousands of dollars in the name of private tuitions. According to an estimate, more than 90% of students in Singapore are attending tuition.

However, despite all its perks, tuition has been a sore spot for many parents due to the ever-increasing tuition fees. Some people would even go as far as to say that tuition should be banned altogether as they are becoming the number one cause of the cut-throat competition among students. If you haven’t formed an opinion on whether or not tuition should be banned, here are a few merits and demerits of private tuitions that will help you reach a decision.

Merits of tuition:

  1. Getting your children enrolled in private tuition would go a long way in helping them reach their academic goals.
  2. For students struggling with difficult subjects, tuition can serve as an added source of guidance for the subject. For instance, for students who find themselves struggling with a complex subject like economics, signing up for JC economics tuition would help them overcome their struggles.
  3. Similarly, private tuition won’t be any less than a knight in shining armor for students who are weak in their studies and need extra attention and guidance from their teachers. One-on-one tuition sessions will not only help such students meet their learning goals but also boost their confidence and self-esteem.
  4. Tuitions help you prepare for the exam. Especially if you sign up for them at the beginning of your class, by the time your session ends, you will already have covered the syllabus twice. And many teachers believe that, to ensure success in the exam, one must cover one’s syllabus at least three times before they begin revision.
  5. Many tuition centers in Singapore offer crash courses just a few months before exams which can prove to be quite beneficial for the students. Crash courses involve a speedy coverage of the syllabus one last time before the exam followed by back-to-back tests to make sure the students are ready to take the exam.

Demerits of tuition:

  1. One of the main reasons why some people wish for private tuition to be banned is the ever-increasing rate of tuition fees. While the students from the elite class can afford tutors with the highest fee rates, students from middle-class families have to find tutors while staying within a small budget. This often leads to students who cannot afford tuition developing a sense of inferiority from the students who can.
  2. Increased popularity and demand for tuitions in Singapore have turned tutoring into a money-making tree. Some people have even started setting tuition centers up just to make money. And so, it wouldn’t be a surprise for you to find a coaching center in every street. Hence, with tuition centers focusing more on making money than helping students perform well in their studies, the main purpose of private tutoring is jeopardized. This is also why China has also taken action against the tuition industry.
  3. In addition, private tuitions have become more of a trend and status symbol than a means for students to improve their academic performance. Many parents decide to send their children to tuition just for the sake of it. It doesn’t matter whether or not their children even need the tuition. They do it simply because the other parents in their circles are doing it. This, in turn, does more damage than good since not all students need extra tuition to maintain their grades.
  4. Tuitions often end up tiring students to the point of exhaustion. Hence, they are unable to engage in healthy extra-curricular activities. They also have no time for following their passions or starting new hobbies. As a result, students begin to lead a robotic lifestyle which is not good for their overall growth and personality development.


Whether tuition should be banned or not is a tricky topic. The truth is, there is an upside and a downside to everything. Tuitions are not different. However, while the intense competition among students and the rising tuition fees area problem, the pros of tuition far outweigh its cons. Govt. Should set up some measures to maintain a check and balance in terms of tuition fees and tutoring standards.

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