Teaching, whether it is private tuition or public school teaching, is a highly respectable and important profession worldwide. Educators play a vital role in teaching the next generation of people and inadvertently creating an advanced society. This explains the relatively high salaries educators earn globally. In Australia, a beginner teacher’s salary is roughly US$41,109, while the average beginner teacher’s salary in the United Kingdom is US$34,488. During a recent admission talk by the National Institute of Education in Singapore, the speaker mentioned that the top income earners in Switzerland, South Korea and Singapore are also teachers.
Therefore, educators in Singapore are highly responsible in moulding students’ futures. However, there is a stark contrast in the degree of responsibility between a private tutor and a MOE school teacher. While a private tutor focuses only on the subject he teaches, a public school teacher finds himself caught up with other duties such as handling CCA, meeting expectations of the school and handling the well-being of students while projecting a professional image simultaneously.
Yet the irony lies in the fact that despite having a more hectic work schedule than a private tutor, some claim that school teachers are not doing enough. For instance, some suspect that it is precisely because junior college teachers are too busy with other tasks that they fail to deliver a good job in providing H2 Mathematics tuition and H2 Physics tuition. As such, the expectations of a top tutor have often been modelled after private tutors instead, who may be more specialized and knowledgeable in these subjects.
Many families in Singapore spend hundreds monthly to register and engage their children for private H2 Mathematics tuition and H2 Physics tuition, some of which provide more innovative methods for students to excel. In reality though, the meagre 2 hours spent weekly with the tutor can only be more effective than the many hours in school if the students themselves fully utilize the time for enrichment rather than merely repeating the concepts which have been taught in schools.
Nevertheless, the status of school teachers must never be relegated to the backseat as they provide the benchmark for private tutors and students alike. While it is essential that educators maintain their role as top tutors as far as possible, students should not rely and expect to be spoon fed by them, but instead take the initiative to learn and improve their grades.