My wife, Karen, currently works at a student care center at the local community center. Even though she is only a part-timer at the center, we are quite sure that she has the highest qualifications. This includes the supervisor, who doubles as the administrator and tutor!
The ratio of tutors to student is very pathetic, 4 tutors to 120 students. The tutors spent half their time handling the students’ behavioral problems. They have limited time to help the students with their homework, made worse by the fact that the students come from different schools, with different set of worksheets and pace of teaching.
The only external tutor who comes once a week has only a couple of hours with the children. My wife comments that he has little time with the children and simply hands down worksheets to them to be completed at their own time. This furthers adds on to the workload of the center’s tutors who are struggling to complete the children’s school work.
The teabreaks served at the centers leaves much to be desired. A packaged bread and a cup of diluted milo seems to be the staple. Perhaps because my wife has not been at the center for too long, so there may be other varieties of meals served.
However, I am aware that, though the parents only pay $40 per month to the center, the center is subsided by the government at $260 per month. That equates to $300 per month or $10 per day! Surely, the center can afford to hire more tutors and serve better food than this!
We pay less than $300 per month at a non-government subsided student care center for our eldest son and thankfully, he gets better attention, facilities and food than the ones served at the community center.
The government wonders why Singaporeans are reluctant to have more children. I propose that one of the reason is that the government subsided student care centers are not up to standards. The standard of education and care at the subsided student care are, in my opinion, sub-standard. No fault of the tutors engaged there as they are under-staffed, handling multiple issues such as administrative responsibility as well as child discipline.
I wonder how does one go about to set up a student care that gets subsided by the government. It does seem to be a nice business to go into for commercial gains if one does not prioritize the value of education and care of their wards.