To Bring Out the Best
After-school tutoring in Hong Kong is serious business, as told by DAVID SIT.
With Hong Kong’s restoration to the People’s Republic of China in 1997, an increasing demand for bilingual education, reinforcement of knowledge, and a great prospect for tapping into the Mainland market was created. Wai Sum Tutorial School was founded in 2000 in response to such golden opportunities.
Hong Kong’s economy and population have grown at a fastpace in the last twenty years. Extended work hours in the busy city has left many with less time to attend to their children, particularly those who may need help with schoolwork. The demand for tutorial services has risen as a result of this phenomenon. In this industry of daunting challenges and shifts, Wai Sum is considered a pioneer and role model.
“We hold regular classes every day for students at primary and secondary level to assist them in finishing homework, revising dictations, and deepening knowledge of subject matter through comprehensive exercises,” says School Supervisor David Sit. “We also have intensive sessions (one tutor to two students, maximum) to prepare for exams in major subjects like Chinese, English and maths, as well as sciences and liberal studies.”
Many parents have begun to rely solely on tutorial centres to enhance their children’s academic performance with extreme expectations, while disregarding their own filial responsibilities. The misconception that more time students spend in tutorial schools automatically guarantees better results has children at afterschool programs for too many hours, now akin to daycare. This also creates a rift in the family, causing adverse effects on students’ discipline, attitudes, and character. Wai Sum seeks to address this concern.
“We closely resemble a formal schoolin operation,” says Sit. “Most tutorial centres overemphasize test scores, and focus on profit. However, our school edifies moral education and interpersonal skills, to helps parents understand their children more and reinforce their relationships, and present students with a sense of belonging, besides academics. We also appoint counselors to update and advise parents on their children’s progress and development.”
Tools of the Trade
Wai Sum offers value in five key aspects.
“Foremost is safety and hygiene. A genuine attention should be paid to personal and environmental cleanliness. We have adopted several measures to prevent contagious diseases from spreading,"says Sit.
“Secondly, there is the Academic Abilities Assessment (3A). It is designed to help determine students’ academic and intellectual abilities, assisting us in formulating the appropriate curricula and tailor the pace and style of tutoring to match.
“Next is Holistic Thinking Pattern Assessment (HTPA), a comprehensive gauge of qualities that helps students in choosing the appropriate academic stream and career path, and gain admission for higher education.
“Fourth; we make use of See Cards, a fun game and teaching tool. It gives them a terrific boost in observation skills and concentration.
“Lastly, we have in place a fair and meticulous system of rewards and penalties, recognized to effectively encourage students to study and improve demeanor.”
Seek to Improve
Wai Sum provides privileged plans for students who require extra academic care. If a student’s academic performance has been far below an acceptable standard, indicated by below average test scores, it gives the student free additional tutoring hours or offers fee reductions, to give students more support with less cost.
The school plans to engage in individual home tutoring, as well as operate 24-hour weekends to accommodate the schedules of those who need intensive study and special care in the near future. New branches in more districts with shuttle services to students’ homes are in the works.
Wai Sum Tutorial School continues to participate in enriching Hong Kong’s student base. Through vision, insight, its spirit of cooperation, moving with the times, a bulk supply of academic resources and tools, bespoke programs, creative business strategies, and loyal, exceptional staff, the next generation is assured competence, competitiveness, and a well-balanced character.