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** For foreigners who are not familiar with the country, education and tuition culture in Malaysia, you might find the following guide useful - Malaysia, Education & Tuition: A Background Guide.

The case for private home tuition

         Many Malaysians would associate the term 'tuition' with tuition centres. And rightly so, because these tuition centres represent the most abundant form of extra coaching available in the country. However, there is another type of tuition that is gaining in popularity amongst us. It goes by various names, such as home tuition, private tuition, personal tuition, one-to-one tuition, individual tuition, small group tuition etc. The main feature which sets it apart from the tuition centers is its smaller ratio of students-to-teacher, which translates to more personal attention to each student. It is hoped that this personal attention would achieve better results compared to that of tuition centres and schools.

Up close and personal
         Just how personal is the personal attention provided by private tuition? The form of private tuition with the largest class size is called small group tuition (or just group tuition). In a typical group tuition, there is no more than 10 students coached by one tuition teacher (or tutor). These students may or may not belong to the same level of studies. However, each is still apportioned a slice of the allotted tuition time so that every student can still enjoy some private teaching catered to him or her alone. A session of private tuition normally ranges from an hour to three hours at a time. Therefore, the smaller the group size, the more that each individual student would benefit. Compare this to the class size at school and at tuition centres, which can be as large as 25 students to 50 students, especially in some urban tuition centres. It is a saddening fact that some of these tuition centres have even more crowded classes than the school classrooms.

Your very own teacher
          A logical conclusion to the trend of decreasing class size, is just one student to a tuition teacher. Termed one-to-one tuition, it is the most exclusive form of private coaching that you'll ever find. The tutor in this case would devote 100% of his or her attention to the student for the entire duration of the session. Often times, the tutor will be so attuned to the student's learning habits and skills that the teaching process is customized for maximum understanding and retention.

Full personal attention
         Why is private tuition considered the most preferred form of coaching? Many felt that a private tutor is capable of providing that extra push when needed because school teachers have too many classes and too little time for individual attention. Especially so when it is a year of major examinations. Burdened by a large class size, individual attention is an extremely rare commodity in schools. On the other hand, students who cannot keep pace with the school lessons may also be reluctant to delay the class's progress with incessant questioning that forces the teacher to repeat the lessons. By the same reason, they feel completely at ease and guilt-free when dealing with a private tutor because they have paid for the time.

Extra, extra!
          The personal attention of the tutor can be invaluable for some subjects such as Mathematics whereby a weak student can benefit from a step by step guidance. A private tutor could go through each and every step of the solution and point out where the student went wrong. Another plus point about private tutors is that they often teach the students short cut methods to solving Mathematics problems. This gives the students an extra advantage over their peers and makes school lessons more interesting as they can compare their own superior methods against the conventional methods taught by teachers in class. Students are no longer bored during class when they know the answer before anyone else. This is also another factor in favour of private tuition because the tutor teaches according to your pace and is not in a rush to finish the syllabus, as the class teachers are. If the student is tied down in a particular topic, the tutor will concentrate on it until it's cleared up. Conversely, if the student races through a section, the tutor can provide an extra impetus by teaching beyond the textbooks.

Specialist care for weak students
          More and more people are recognizing the effectiveness of private tuition, especially when the student concerned is extremely weak. Such cases have frustrated many parents, who have exhausted all other avenues to remedy their children's academic plight. When faced with a non-performing child, most parents would first send him or her to a tuition centre. When that proved inadequate, they will turn finally to private tuition. And this will usually take the form of one-to-one tuition, for maximum effect. This is often the last resort for parents of these extremely weak students. Although not many private tutors would actually profess to effecting a full turnaround, it will be rare not to see some positive improvements in the grades, at the very least.

         Private tuition, therefore, seems to have carved a niche for itself in the Malaysian tuition scene. Some see it as the bastion of last resorts. Some use it to bolster up academic achievements. And finally, there are those who embrace it in order to keep up with school lessons. Of course, there are detractors of private tuition as well. They are not deriding its effectiveness, but rather question whether there are alternative measures, which are less costly, that could achieve similar results. Private tuition fills a genuine need. No one will deny it. But it remains to be seen if private tuition will be embraced fully by the public.

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Glossary of Terms :
(1) Tuition - Tutelage, the act of tutoring or teaching a student (pupil); Fees paid for instruction (especially for higher education). In Malaysia, tuition is more popularly used to denote tutoring rather than fee. Common Malaysian misspellings: Tiution, Tution. *(BM): Tuisyen, Tiusyen, Tusyen, Tuisen, Tiusen, Tuisyan, Tiusyan, Tusyan. | (2) Home Tuition - Tutoring that takes place at students' or tutors' home as opposed to at tuition centers; Also: Home Tutoring, Private Tuition, Private Tutoring. *(BM): Tuisyen Di Rumah, Tuisyen Swasta. | (3) Personal Tuition - Tutoring on the basis of one tutor catering to one student. Also: Personal Tutoring, Individual Tuition, Individual Tutoring, One-to-one Tuition, 1-to-1 Tutoring, One-to-one Tutoring, 1-to-1 Tuition. *(BM): Tuisyen Peribadi, Tuisyen Persendirian, Tuisyen Perseorangan, Tuisyen Individu. | (4) Group Tuition - Tutoring on the basis of one tutor catering to several (small number, but more than one) students. Also: Small Group Tuition, Small Class Tuition, Group Tutoring, Small Group Tutoring, Small Class Tutoring. *(BM): Tuisyen Berkumpulan, Tuisyen Kumpulan Kecil, Tuisyen Kelas Kecil. | (5) Tutors - Tuition Teachers, persons who conduct tuition. In Malaysia, teacher is more popularly used to denote a school teacher whereas tutor usually means a non-school teacher. Also: Tiutors, Tuitors. *(BM): Guru Sekolah, Cikgu Sekolah, Pengajar Tuisyen, Guru Tuisyen, Cikgu Tuisyen. | (6) Home Tutors - Tutors who provide home tuition as opposed to those who teach at tuition centres. Also: Private Tutors, Personal Tutors, Individual Tutors, One-to-one Tutors, 1-to-1 Tutors, Group Tutors, Small Group Tutors, Private Teachers, Personal Teachers, Individual Teachers, One-to-one Teachers, 1-to-1 Teachers, Group Teachers, Small Group Teachers, Private Tuition Teachers, Personal Tuition Teachers, Individual Tuition Teachers, One-to-one Tuition Teachers, 1-to-1 Tuition Teachers, Group Tuition Teachers, Small Group Tuition Teachers. *(BM): Pengajar Di Rumah, Pengajar Swasta, Pengajar Peribadi, Pengajar Persendirian, Pengajar Perseorangan, Guru Di Rumah, Guru Swasta, Guru Peribadi, Guru Persendirian, Guru Perseorangan, Cikgu Di Rumah, Cikgu Swasta, Cikgu Peribadi, Cikgu Persendirian, Cikgu Perseorangan. | (7) Tuition Centers - Private institutions that conduct tuition on classroom-like settings. Also: Tuition Centres, Tutorial Centers, Tutorial Centres, Tuition Classes, Tutorial Classes, Tutoring Classes. *(BM): Pusat Tuisyen, Pusat Bimbingan, Pusat Tutorial, Kelas Tuisyen. | (8) Home Tuition Jobs - Home tuition vacancies; Posts to be filled by home tutors. Also: Private Tuition Jobs, Home Tutoring Jobs, Private Tutoring Jobs, Home Tuition Assignments, Private Tuition Assignments, Home Tutoring Assignments, Private Tutoring Assignments, Private Tuition Vacancies, Home Tutoring Vacancies, Private Tutoring Vacancies. *(BM): Jawatan Kosong Tuisyen, Pekerjaan Tuisyen, Kerja Tuisyen, Tugasan Tuisyen. | (9) Home Tutees - Home tuition students; Pupils receiving home tuition from home tutors. *(BM): Pelajar Tuisyen, Murid Tuisyen, Penuntut Tuisyen. | *(BM) denotes terms in Bahasa Melayu or Malay Language.