By Sean Scarpiello
A friend of mine who recently immigrated to the United States from India was talking to me one day about the differences between life in the United States and India. When I asked him how high school compared in each country I was shocked to hear his comparison. He described that in India, school work always comes before fun, but in the United States, sometime fun can come before school work. This really made me think about the types schooling systems there are in other countries of the world. Currently in Hong Kong, there has been a lot of fuss about tutors who are treated much like celebrities. How exactly are these celebrity tutors affecting Hong Kong and will the rest of the world adapt these methods one day?
In Hong Kong, there are currently a hand full of tutors who are famous for their teaching skills and regarded as celebrities. They pretty much live the celebrity life style and have nice cars and big houses. Parents are willing to spend a lot of money on their children’s education and hire these tutors so that their children can do even better in school. But, is this good for the education system of Hong Kong? In my opinion, it is good in moderation for more than one reason. First off, when tutors are suddenly being viewed as celebrities, a lot of the fame and fortune can get to the tutors heads. This can later cause a decreased quality in education for these students. Also, tutoring needs to be implemented in moderation because it is possible to have too much of a good thing. If parents are hiring a tutor, it should be to help the student in one or two subjects where the student is weak. In Hong Kong, some parents are having their children tutored in several classes. This is not tutoring. If a student is constantly struggling in more than two academic subjects, it is probably best to just accept that the student will not be able to succeed in an education system as brutal as that of Hong Kong. This just turns in to unnecessary stress.
Since there is such a large amount of students and a low college acceptance rate, it may be best to come to the realization that not everyone is cut out for college. This may be hard to grasp for some parents but the world still needs plumbers and electricians to function properly. I am in no way down-playing these jobs, but really I am describing how these occupations are just as important as jobs which require years of education. Also, I am not saying that a quality education is not important. Quality educations are important, but there should be no shame in having an occupation that comes with little prestige. There are some blue-collar workers out there making a lot more money than some lawyers.
Is there a possibility that the United States will one day have these sorts of celebrity teachers? There will probably be some celebrity educators but only to an extent. There will not be celebrity tutors to the extent that there are now in Hong Kong. This is not because American students do not want to learn, but this is attributed more to the way the United States education system is made up. The United States has more colleges with more spaces for students. There is a greater opportunity for students to learn in the United States. Some of the students who are accepted into American colleges may never come close to getting into college if they lived in Hong Kong. However, parents in the United States still drop large sums of money on their children’s education and if an educator were to step up and create a successful learning program that is personalized for students, much like the tutors of Hong Kong, there would be a bit of a fuss. America would still find many benefits that Hong Kong has found, just not to the extent. There is definitely the possibility for tutors to become popular in other parts of the world where the education system is harsher. Some parts of Europe and Asia would find a lot of success with tutors. At this point, there really needs to be someone who steps up and creates tutoring programs for students around the globe.