Singapore has been dubbed the “Tuition Nation”. Even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently commented that tuition has become a “minor national obsession”. Singaporean parents are certainly willing to splurge on tuition services for their children as they perceive tuition to be the key to academic success. In the last report on Singapore household expenditures in 2008 by the Department of Statistics, figures showed that Singapore households spent around $820 million on centre- and home-based private tuition, up from $470 million a decade earlier.
In today’s competitive society, many parents view tuition as a necessary means to scoring distinctions in examinations and getting ahead of the academic race. However, Mr Anthony Fok believes that tuition should be viewed as a supplement to a child’s education, and not an integral part of our education system or an obligatory pathway to success. The role of tuition should be to fill in the gaps of knowledge.