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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.

 
Where to go for tuition


         There are a number of options available to students in Malaysia who are seeking extra lessons outside their school classrooms. The choices differ in terms of tuition fees, class size, convenience, the amount of personalized coaching that one receives etc. The most apparent choice for most people are the tuition centres. These are institutional-like private education providers which generally charge a relatively affordable tuition fee.


Your friendly local tuition centres
         Even these tuition centres vary in size and scale of operation. At the lower end of the range are the small establishments serving the community in its vicinity. They are the tuition centres you'll find in most residential areas, and whose main competitive advantage is the convenience of their locations to the locals. Their classes are usually small to medium in size and consists primarily of school-going children living in that area. The number of tuition teachers are typically limited, with some handling more than one subject and at more than one level. They are relatively simple in terms of operation. The tuition teachers are able to achieve, to some degree, personal interactions with the students. They might even be acquainted with the parents who are chauffeuring the kids to the classes. All in all, the class size is generally smaller than that in school. This is a point to their advantage, due to the smaller number of students that they catered to.


The big guys
         On the other hand, there are the huge tuition centres operating in prime locations in the town or city center. They are highly organized and efficient in operation. They provide class schedules and time tables, printed proprietary study notes and exercises, held exams and class tests, and keep track of students' performance. All is done on a large scale. The same class is held for more than once, at alternative time slots so that students can choose the most convenient to attend. The tuition teachers on their payroll are large in number as they each normally specialize in certain subjects only. The level of organization of these tuition centres exceed even that of schools. They have to be, because they are serving more than a thousand students at a time. At this size, they can afford to lower the tuition fees substantially and still make a nice profit.


Personal attention?
          But of course, this form of tuition is highly impersonal. The class size could reach 50 students or even more. The tuition teachers do not provide personal attention to the students at all. Most likely, they won't even know the names of their students. But students, especially those with an urban outlook, love this form of tuition. When it's near the time of a major national examination, these huge tuition centres will organize related seminars and workshops. These events usually attract large crowds as even the non-regular tuition attendees would be interested. The focus of attention is, of course, the purported 'examination tips' and 'forecast questions'. More than one controversy has been associated with this. There have been past reportings in the press regarding questions from the public exams being leaked and revealed in these sessions. But as the students themselves admit, these are actually the main 'highlights' of the workshops.


The tutor's place
         The next form of tuition in Malaysia does not take place at tuition centres, and is not institutional in nature. It is a type of private tuition that takes place at the tutor's home. The number of students at each tuition session is small, due to space constraints. Class size is always smaller than that in school classrooms. Hence, interactions between tutor and students are good. Tuition is conducted in a comparatively informal format. The tutor is usually in close contact with the parents too because the students all come from the surrounding neighbourhoods. Facilities may not be completely satisfactory, though. But some tutors actually converted a room of their house into a classroom. The air-conditioned classroom is equipped with a whiteboard, and lined with tables and chairs for the students. In all respects except size, it does not differ much from that in a full fledged tuition centre. However, less well equipped tutors will have to make do in the study room or the dining hall of their house.


Your place
         If you feel traveling to the tutor's house is inconvenient, you can hire a private tutor to teach you in the very comforts of your home. Also known as home tuition, these tutors can also coach all of the school-going children of the house. This means the student will be tutored together with his or her brothers and sisters. The group of students is very small in number so that personal attention can be rendered to everyone. If undivided attention is called for, the student can even have the tutor all for himself or herself. Termed one-to-one tuition, the tutor would only concentrate on one student for the whole duration of the session. This is the most exclusive form of tuition and is also claimed to be the most effective. Due to the intimate nature of this tuition, the tutor will be acquainted directly with the student and indirectly with his or her immediate family. Such close understanding of the student allows the tutor to tailor the teaching approach according to the student's learning aptitudes. This personalized attention is particularly crucial for students who are deemed extremely weak. This goes without saying that the fee for one-to-one tuition is also the steepest of all.


Your friend's place
         A cheaper alternative to one-to-one tuition is to join a tuition session at your friend's home. In this case, your friend, who should be at the same academic level as you are, can split the tuition fees with you. Thus, both can enjoy the benefits of private tuition at a lesser financial burden. Of course, both the students must be interested in the same tuition subjects and can find a commonly acceptable tuition time. The venue must also be convenient. All these factors make it difficult to set up a shared tuition session for a large number of students. That's because the more students that are involved, the greater are the complications and compromises that have to be made to accommodate one another.

         If you are a student seeking tuition in Malaysia, there is no shortage of places you can go to. From the typical tuition centres to your very own home. With so many options to choose from, it is important to make your decision after considering all the pertinent factors.

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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.

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