Tuition agencies largely unregulated

By Gerrard Lai

The number of complaints lodged against tuition centres and private tutors appears to have climbed in recent years, according to the latest figures from Singapore's consumer watchdog.

There were 19 cases filed with the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) last year, up from 15 in 2009. Case has received 11 cases so far this year.

However, these figures could be just the tip of the iceberg, as some victims of errant agencies do not report them to Case.

Undergraduate Jeslyn Goh, 19, is one of them. She engaged an economics tutor through a tuition agency two years ago, when she was in junior college.

She was recommended a tutor who the agency said had performed well in her A-level economics.

However, Ms Goh found the tutor's teaching so bad that she stopped lessons after a month.

The quality of private tutors is not the only complaint made against tuition agencies which, unlike tuition centres, do not have to be registered with the Ministry of Education (MOE) under the Education Act.

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