Online tuition classes not practical, say personal tutors

GEORGE TOWN: After hours of hybrid lessons, private tutors here say that students here are just too tired for another round for online tuition.

A check with several such tutors showed that going online was no longer feasible as they said students have “reached their tolerance threshold” for online learning from school teachers.

In fact, even parents do not have the heart to subject their children to more hours online for private tutoring.

A founder of one of the oldest tuition centres in Penang, Mohammed Thajudin Abdul Muthaliff, 64, said they turned to online tutoring when schools conducted online lessons but it was just not conducive for learning.

“Students are already in front of the screen for online learning from their school teachers for hours.

“Signing them up for tuition classes, which means forcing them to sit for more hours in front of the screen, is just tiring and a torture to them. As educators ourselves, we don’t feel productive in our teaching this way,” he said.

Mohammed Thajudin, who has been operating his centre for over 30 years, said even in cases where parents signed their children up for online tuition, classes were often conducted with students being either less attentive or occupied with other activities.

“Sometimes, parents themselves complained to us that their kids would be watching videos, surfing the Internet or being on social media while tuition classes were ongoing.

“As tutors, we are unable to monitor or check on what they are doing behind the screen. As such, physical classes are undeniably needed and more effective for learning.

“Resuming physical classes is still the best way for both students and teachers. We hope and urge for the reopening of physical classes for tuition centres now that schools are slowly reopening,” he added.

Mohammed Thajudin said presently, they have over 20 students who were still registered with them.

Jules Law, 47, the founder of an online school software provider, said many tutors in the country preferred conducting physical classes as they were not trained to provide online education.

“On our online school platform, we provide a space for tutors to teach and conduct their classes virtually for a fee.

“From my observation, one of the problems our tutors face is the lack of training and skills in providing online education.

“This is a brand new challenge for them because many are not used to teaching online or through a webcam.

“Besides that, tutors or small-scale tuition centres may face challenges in affording software or buying quality online teaching platforms to conduct lessons,” said Law.

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