I wish to bring to the public's notice how my friends and I were
duped by a private tuition centre in my town and hope that other students will
not be cheated like us.
I came across an advertisement in a local newspaper, whereby the
tuition centre offered a 25 per cent discount to students who paid in advance
for a package of three subjects for thirty weeks. When my friends and I
registered in January, we were told that they would refund the money in
February. However, we never got the refund despite several reminders.
Secondly, the tutors are below par. Most of them are
irresponsible and lackadaisical. On the first day, twenty of us had to wait more
than half an hour for our tutor to appear. When he did, he took another half an
hour to collect more fees and to register us again. Then, he proceeded to
introduce himself and crack some jokes which nobody found funny. All too soon,
the two-hour `lesson' was over and we had not learnt anything. This sad state of
affairs continued for all my subjects. The tutors were always late and often
ill-prepared for the lessons. Besides, in three months, I had three Additional
Maths teachers. We also found that our `tutors' were not trained teachers but
jobless graduates who were doing some part-time teaching to earn extra money.
In the third month, we were told that the Physics class would be
cancelled unless we campaigned for more students. We were shocked - there were
already twenty of us and the advertisement had guaranteed small classes. How can
we get some individual attention if classes are as big as the ones we have in
Last month, we were informed that the centre would be shut down
for two weeks for renovation. But when we returned after two weeks, we
discovered that the tuition centre had shut down permanently. Till today, we
have not been able to locate the people in charge nor the tutors. Some of us
lodged police reports, but to no avail. We were told that we were not the only
ones reporting malpractices by unscrupulous and illegal tuition centers.
I sincerely hope the Ministry of Education will take action
against unregistered and illegal tuition centers. Officials should monitor the
activities of all tuition centers to curtail malpractices to cheat unwary
students. If possible, they should provide a list of recommended private tuition
centers to all schools to prevent students from becoming victims. I strongly
advise students and parents to exert caution when choosing a tuition centre.
Scout around first and ask your seniors or teachers for advice. It is better to
pay more and rely on an established centre than be hoodwinked into cheaper
packages. Lastly, find out more about the credentials of the tutors and the
Principal of the centre.