Tag Archives: nus economists

How much does private tuition help? – The economist’s view

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 In Singapore, everyone knows how much emphasis is placed on education and the importance of having a quality education. This results in stiff competition for all major examinations as students work their socks off to vie for places in either top schools or the school of their choice.

Private tuition has already become a social norm in Singapore, but just how much does private tuition help? Well, we would say that it depends on many factors that are unique to each child. In general, some of the factors could be:

1. Character and learning style (visual/ auditory/ kinesthetic)- more on this in the next part of our EduSnips series

2. Level of knowledge in the subject

3. Learning pace

4. Setting (E.g. One-to-One tuition or in class) 

5. Delivery medium or delivery method preferred

Some other factors in rather more “tangible” terms would require backing by research and studies. In fact, a recent Straits Times article by a NUS economist has even looked into how private tuition expenditure is correlated to performance in examinations. Based on  2 separate studies of students in Hong Kong schools and South Korean high school students in national university admissions test, the findings are as summarised:

1. Higher proportion of students in higher forms received private tuition

2. Higher proportion of students with higher-educated parents received tuition

3. On average, 10% increase in expenditure on private tuition improved test performance by 0.56 percentile

4. Based on 2008 PSLE students admitted to secondary schools data, spending on private tuition to increase test score by 0.56 percentile would make a difference between being on borderline and being at top of cohort of admitted students to a particular top school.

(Png, 2010)

This interesting article  reveals studies done by various academics backed with measurable metrics gives a different viewpoint on “exactly” how much does private tuition help. You can read the entire article here and some of the community’s comments here.

Excerpt from:

Ivan Png. (July 1, 2010). StraitsTimes. In Ask: NUS Economists. Retrieved July 13, 2010, from http://bit.ly/cvh6If

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