The U.S. is catching up to Asia in the growth of the tutoring business

19 Jun


Moi wrote in Trying not to raise a bumper crop of morons: Hong Kong’s ‘tutor kings and queens’


It is difficult to theorize or surmise what is going on in a particular culture if one is not imbued with understanding the context of that culture. Still, Yojana Sharma’s BBC report about Hong Kong’s star tutors makes moi theorize that the families paying the hefty bill are not satisfied with being “minority” anythings.


Sharma reports in BBC article, Meet the ‘tutor kings and queens’ about the educators who are accorded as much adulation and status as rock stars in Hong Kong:


They strike glamorous poses in posters in shopping malls and on the sides of buses.


But they are not movie stars or supermodels: they are Hong Kong’s A-list “tutor kings” and “tutor queens”, offering pupils a chance to improve mediocre grades.


In Hong Kong’s consumer culture, looks sell. Celebrity tutors in their sophisticated hair-dos and designer trappings are treated like idols by their young fans who flock to their classes.


And they have earnings to match – some have become millionaires and appear regularly on television shows.


If you want to be a top tutor, it definitely helps if you are young and attractive. Students look at your appearance,” said Kelly Mok, 26, a “tutor queen” at King’s Glory, one of Hong Kong’s largest tutorial establishments.


Her designer clothes and accessories are not just for the billboards; it’s how she likes to dress outside classes. But she is also careful to add that she wouldn’t be in such high demand if she could not deliver top grades in her subject,


Richard Eng from Beacon College is often credited with being the first of Hong Kong’s “star tutors”. A former secondary school teacher, he says he got the idea after he featured in photographs advertising his sister, a performance artist.


In school all the teachers look the same, there’s no excitement,” he said.


Richard Eng has brought a show business approach to the world of improving exam grades


His own image appears on special ring-binders and folders containing study tips, or pens which harbour a pull-out scroll with his picture and other gifts. Such items became so sought after that they propelled him to near-rock star status among young people.


The celebrity tutor phenomenon is a result of the huge growth in out-of-school tutoring in Asia.


It is fuelled by highly pressured examination systems and ambitious parents wanting their children to secure places at top universities and high-status secondary schools.


In societies where success is equated with good exam results, parental anxiety converts into a “steady stream of revenue” for tutoring establishments, according to a study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).


The tutoring industry, or “shadow education” as the ADB calls it, has become very widespread in Asia, fed by the growth in universities and the rising proportion of school leavers aiming for university.


Hong Kong University’s professor Mark Bray, one of the authors of the ADB study, said a staggering 72% of final-year school students in Hong Kong now go to private tutors.


Richer families have always paid for individual tutoring, but the star tutors offer exam tips and revision notes to the less well-off, studying in groups of over 100.


Getting an edge’


It’s not just Hong Kong. Tutoring has “spread and intensified in Asia and become more commercialised,” said professor Bray. In South Korea, 90% of primary school children attend such classes.


Forget the elbow patches, tutor Kelly Mok teaches English with style


In South Korea, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India, tutorial schools use star tutors to attract even more students. “They have found a way to appeal to young people and pull them in. They create a buzz,” he said.


We had this phenomenon of star tutors in Kota as well,” said Pramod Maheshwari, chief executive of Career Point Coaching School in Kota, Rajasthan, India, a city of residential tutorial colleges which attract students from all over the country.


It can give you an edge.” But ultimately, he says, expansion of tutoring is driven not by personalities but by “the inefficiency of the school system”.


Across India, students’ education level is not up to the mark, and millions are preparing for competitive college examinations. It is a huge market,” said Mr Maheshwari.


In China, where private tutorial schools were unknown until the economy opened up in the 1990s, New Oriental Education and Technology has grown to become one of the largest tutoring schools in Asia with around 2.4 million students this year.


It boasts 17,600 teachers in 49 cities and an online network of over 7.8 million users.


Listed on the New York stock exchange since 2006, its founder Michael Yu (also known as Yu Minhong), became a multi-millionaire on the back of his blend of rote learning exercises, stand-up comedy and motivational speeches.


A man from a humble background, who had become an English teacher at Peking University, Mr Yu used the Hong Kong model of employing star tutors to prepare students for tests for universities abroad.


Extensive tutoring is sometimes seen as contributing to East Asian countries’ high performance in international school comparisons, particularly in mathematics.


One person does not speaks for a group, but members of a group can often provide useful insight about the group.


Here is Arthur Hu’s take on  INTRODUCTION TO BASIC ASIAN VALUES It looks like parents with the resources are not beginning to emulate various Asian cultures in the push to have their children succeed.


Adrian Garcia wrote in the Denver Post article, Child tutoring franchises expand in Denver, nationwide:



Parents’ desire to see their children succeed in school and life is providing the opportunity for franchises in the supplemental education industry to rapidly expand.


Companies such as Sylvan Learning Center, KidzArt, School of Rock and Mathnasium that offer a range of services from homework help to music lessons are growing in Denver and across the nation.


Americans are estimated to spend $5 billion to $7 billion annually in the industry, according to the Education Industry Association, which tracks education trends and represents private education providers…


“We’ve learned that one of the main drivers is increased competition for college admissions,” said Steve Pines, executive director for the association. “There are many more kids in high school that are college-bound but a finite number of seats at those colleges….”


Most educational-supplement customers tend to come from middle-class and upper-middle-class families.


“We rely pretty much on discretionary income,” said Ann Smith, owner of a Sylvan in Highlands Ranch. Her center charges an hourly rate of $52 to $57.


Smith has found a market size large enough to sustain even through tough economic times like the last recession…..


The Sylvan Learning Center’s vice president of franchise development, Scott Hurlock, expects the industry to continue to grow and emphasizes the need for strong partnerships between schools and education-supplement companies.


“When it becomes more apparent to the school systems that it’s OK to reach the alternative solution, this industry will explode exponentially,” Hurlock said.


Moi wrote in 3rd world America: The link between poverty and education:


The Huffington Post article, Poor Students With Poorly Educated Parents More Disadvantaged In U.S. Than Other Countries about the effect of income inequality:


Intuitively, a child’s academic performance is likely higher if he or she has highly educated parents, and lower if the child has less educated parents. A new report confirms that’s true, but reveals that American children of poorly educated parents do a lot worse than their counterparts in other countries.


Income mobility just within the U.S. has significantly declined since the mid-90s, according to a report this month by the Boston Federal Reserve. In recent years, families were more likely to stay within their income class than before — the rich are staying rich, and the poor and middle-class are struggling to move up the economic ladder.


But the Pew Economic Mobility Project takes it a step further by asking the question, “Does America promote mobility as well as other nations?” Researchers in 10 countries took to analyzing socioeconomic advantage as a function of parental education.


Researchers found that a child’s economic and educational status is more affected by parental education than in any other country studied.


Using a basic metric, researchers studied performance gaps on vocabulary tests among five-year-olds with highly educated parents, moderately educated parents and poorly educated parents. Among the English-speaking countries studied, the American gap between children with highly educated parents and poorly educated parents was the widest, while the Canadian gap proved to be the most narrow.


This economy must start producing jobs. Too bad the government  kept the cash sluts and credit crunch weasels like big banks and financial houses fully employed and destroyed the rest of the country.


Where Information Leads to Hope ©     Dr.


Dr. Wilda says this about that ©


Blogs by Dr. Wilda:


COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                 


Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                      


Dr. Wilda ©                                                                   



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: