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QC in church tuition programme

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QC in church tuition programme

Postby Han Seo » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:01 pm

Hi Everyone,

I hope to get some view here regarding the quality control of our church tuition programme for low income families.

I have been tasked to look into enhancing the tuition programme provided by my church for low income families. What are some measures that I can put in place to ensure the quality of the tutors are up to standard? The best outcome, of course, is still the students' results but to be fair to the tutors, it may not be the tutor's fault all the time.

Some guidelines that I can think of include:
1. Having a set of guidelines for the tutors spelt out in black and white e.g. no chatting on social media during lesson (this can be easily verified by asking the students) and the consequences if found to be chatting on social media during lesson time.
2. Random check of students' marked assignments (this can be an issue because that would mean I must have the resources to get the right people who have the content knowledge to check the homework that are marked, especially at the upper secondary level)
3. Verifying the tutor's academic qualifications and interviewing the tutors face to face.

In general, do parents here find if there is any difference in the tutor's quality if the tutors are :
1. undergraduates
2. full time tutors
3. current MOE teachers
4. ex MOE teachers?

Thank you in advance!

Han Seo
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Re: QC in church tuition programme

Postby zac's mum » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:14 pm

Just wondering: are the tutors volunteers who are providing their services gratis? Or is your church sponsoring the tutors’ salaries out of goodwill to the low-income tutees?

In any case, your guidelines sound like a good plan.

As for verifying the quality of marked assignments...not a very good way to go about it. How about you test the tutors’ knowlege by making them do a random chapter of a relevant assessment book? Remove the answer page of course.

Competency in teaching. This should be part of the interview too. Ask the tutors to teach you a certain topic that you don’t know about. Can they convey the lesson successfully? If u still can’t figure out what they are trying to teach (pretend if u need to), how do they react? Patient or frustrated? Do they try again in a different way? Or do they give up/repeat same method/get angry? That’s the litmus test of a good vs lousy tutor.

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Re: QC in church tuition programme

Postby Han Seo » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:03 am

We have both paid tutors and volunteer tutors. Some paid tutors charge slightly lower when they found out we are helping the low income families. The fees are of course paid by church members' donations.

Do you guys think the church should provide paid private tuition for the low income families (the families need not be our church members) since there are alternatives such as the RC tuition and self help group tuition which charge very nominal fees?

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Re: QC in church tuition programme

Postby zac's mum » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:25 am

Han Seo wrote:We have both paid tutors and volunteer tutors. Some paid tutors charge slightly lower when they found out we are helping the low income families. The fees are of course paid by church members' donations.

Do you guys think the church should provide paid private tuition for the low income families (the families need not be our church members) since there are alternatives such as the RC tuition and self help group tuition which charge very nominal fees?

If they are from low income families, finding the spare cash to pay for tuition will be hard. The more important thing is to help them lift up their grades (and eventually, their lot in life), isn’t it? So do it for free if u can support it with donations. Provide a calm safe haven for them to hang out after school, even if it’s just a homework/revision space. They may not have such a space at home & fast food outlets are poor study spaces.

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Re: QC in church tuition programme

Postby slmkhoo » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:53 am

zac's mum wrote:
Han Seo wrote:We have both paid tutors and volunteer tutors. Some paid tutors charge slightly lower when they found out we are helping the low income families. The fees are of course paid by church members' donations.

Do you guys think the church should provide paid private tuition for the low income families (the families need not be our church members) since there are alternatives such as the RC tuition and self help group tuition which charge very nominal fees?

If they are from low income families, finding the spare cash to pay for tuition will be hard. The more important thing is to help them lift up their grades (and eventually, their lot in life), isn’t it? So do it for free if u can support it with donations. Provide a calm safe haven for them to hang out after school, even if it’s just a homework/revision space. They may not have such a space at home & fast food outlets are poor study spaces.

For some of these kids, having a safe space and some friendly mentoring probably matters more than the quality of the tuition (as long as it's not really poor). Although the church may be willing to provide free tuition, I think that making the families contribute, even it it's a nominal sum, will make the students and the parents more committed. If it's totally free, there is a tendency to only show up now and again when they feel like it, and possibly not take it seriously - this will lead to poorer results (not just academic results). For eg., you could offer the first session as a free trial, then $2 per session thereafter, just so that it feels more "official". I'm not sure what RCs etc are charging, but you don't have to charge the same.

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Re: QC in church tuition programme

Postby starlight1968sg » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:10 am

I think charging a nominal fee for tuition is reasonable. It can be a case by case basis or if the family really can’t afford, then the fee can be waived. Afterall when there is a fee imposed, people will take things seriously.

As for the tutor, the church can randomly sit in to witness how the tuition is conducted to assess the tutor’s competency.

As some pointed out earlier, provide a conducive learning environment is equally impt too.

Maybe when I retire, I can volunteer my time and knowledge in this area ...

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Re: QC in church tuition programme

Postby zac's mum » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:08 am

I believe many people like Starlight & myself are happy to volunteer their help. My SIL (a Math tutor ex-TLL) also volunteers her tutoring services once in a while at a community center. The tough part is carving out her time because Saturdays especially are peak tuition hours for those trying to earn a living from it.

Similarly, I can offer to tutor up to P2/P3 level as I’ve been coaching my own kid thru his school work. So I am thoroughly familiar with the syllabus. If u need my volunteer help please PM me & we see how we can make it work.

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Re: QC in church tuition programme

Postby slmkhoo » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:14 am

Han Seo wrote:In general, do parents here find if there is any difference in the tutor's quality if the tutors are :
1. undergraduates
2. full time tutors
3. current MOE teachers
4. ex MOE teachers?

Thank you in advance!

I think the academic quality is not the main issue for many of these children. More importantly, the tutor should be able to encourage the students to set up a routine of working steadily, keeping at it, building up self-esteem etc. And academic quality doesn't really depend that much on the age or credentials of the tutor, although those make a simple first cut.

University students can probably build up a better rapport with the students as the age difference is less. The relationship will be more relaxed, but maybe discipline may be an issue with the more playful/rebellious children. The others are likely to have more "distance" and be more strict. Some children do better with that kind of tutor. But in the end, it all boils down to individual personalities of the tutors and the children. Sometimes, just having more individual attention is what makes the difference.

slmkhoo
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Re: QC in church tuition programme

Postby pokoyoko » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:55 am

Han Seo wrote:Hi Everyone,

I hope to get some view here regarding the quality control of our church tuition programme for low income families.

I have been tasked to look into enhancing the tuition programme provided by my church for low income families. What are some measures that I can put in place to ensure the quality of the tutors are up to standard? The best outcome, of course, is still the students' results but to be fair to the tutors, it may not be the tutor's fault all the time.

Some guidelines that I can think of include:
1. Having a set of guidelines for the tutors spelt out in black and white e.g. no chatting on social media during lesson (this can be easily verified by asking the students) and the consequences if found to be chatting on social media during lesson time.
2. Random check of students' marked assignments (this can be an issue because that would mean I must have the resources to get the right people who have the content knowledge to check the homework that are marked, especially at the upper secondary level)
3. Verifying the tutor's academic qualifications and interviewing the tutors face to face.

In general, do parents here find if there is any difference in the tutor's quality if the tutors are :
1. undergraduates
2. full time tutors
3. current MOE teachers
4. ex MOE teachers?

Thank you in advance!


Maybe a good question to ask is... What is the expected outcome of this initiative? I agree with some of the points shared by the rest that for lower income families they might not have an emphasis on academic qualification. Rather they need a coach / mentor figure to help them get into the habit of studying and working hard!!

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Re: QC in church tuition programme

Postby Han Seo » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:52 pm

I am amazed at the offer of help and the very balanced view offered here. Thank you so much. I will send a private message to those who offered to volunteer. As the semester is coming to an end, we shall not make any drastic change to our programme this year.

Once again, thank you.

Han Seo
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