Private tutoring


Recently, private tutoring has evolved into big business. Many students flock to different tutorial centers to get better equipped for the public exam. Some people lament the phenomenon, claiming that the trend is giving a blow to the education sector and even the growth of teenagers. Write a letter to the editor to voice your views.


Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my concern over the rapid evolution of private tutoring. It is now common sight to see many students flocking to different tutorial centers in a bid to get tips and intensive notes for the public exam. As one of the students who is going to sit for the HKDSE in April this year, I would like to voice my views over this phenomenon.


While some people lament the situation, we should never forget that what makes private tutoring an increasingly popular trend. Exorbitantly high expectation from parents is the major culprit. With people attaching huge importance to and emphasis on academic success, many parents simply send their children to tutorial centers to make them scholastically excellent. Increased fierce competitions among students at school further push them to knock on the doors at tutorial centers to receive extra lessons and drilling.


The notion just mentioned has already been deep-rooted in Hongkongers’ minds, giving a significant blow to both the education sector and even the growth of teenagers themselves.


To commence with, too much private tutoring actually causes harm to the education sector. While the contemporary education system may just seem to select the able ones to climb up the social ladder, it also means to instill correct messages into students’ minds. Sadly, with the exponential trend of private tutoring, Hong Kong students simply place too much emphasis on the former, cramming astronomical amount of fact into their minds just for answering the exam questions. Some of them, for instance, excel in English oral examination, but they unexpectedly hesitate to have a short chat with foreigners. This satirical fact stems from the inflexible skills taught in private tutorial centers. Neglecting the true meaning of education, tutorial centers keep churning out lots of brilliant-but-brainless students, hampering the development of the Hong Kong education sector in the long term.


Thanks to the tutorial centers, the personal growth of teenagers has also been adversely affected. In order to ace in the public exam, many students get undue drilling in the centers. This seemingly neutral action actually leaves a long-term impact on students. Some may in turn reckon that skills in the workplace can also be trained in these ways like what tutorial centers do. Yet, many employers nowadays lament the fresh graduates’ lack of soft skills, failing to flexibly cope with the job. This simply shows that it is time for students to recognize that excessive private tutoring will take its toll on their personal development. What is more, private tutoring offers students a ‘second chance’ to reacquire the knowledge at school. Some students pay little attention in the lessons at school, relying too much on the tutoring and creating a vicious cycle.


The nature of private tutoring is originally good and helpful, but what makes it now deviate from the objectives. If so, what can be done to turn the situation around?


First and foremost, parents should play the roles of nurturing their children well. Success does not solely depend on academic work. There are so many living proofs in society, showing that a flexible mind is much more important than drilling in the tutorial centers and excelling in examinations. Besides, spending all the time for drilling does not mean spending the time well. It is believed that having enough rest for the body to refresh will do more good than using each single second to study.


Apart from parents, students themselves can surely do their part. Many students often blame that the exam papers are set to be increasingly, extraordinarily hard. The reasons behind are actually to distinguish the strong from the weak after they have joined private tutoring. It is high time some students woke up and had a deep thought about whether they need so much drilling. True, it is not a short-term process to change the situation. Yet, one should remember that education was not, is not and hopefully, will not be a short-term and easy task of our society.


As one of the students in Hong Kong, I truly hope that the education system can be improved to really benefit the students by our local schools rather than the profit-making private tutorial centers. That way, the working force in future would be more flexible and our competitiveness will in turn be enhanced.


Yours faithfully,
Chris Wong
Chris Wong

Ronald Tsang Yui Long

6E 2015-16