All over the world, a significant number of students not only focus on the mainstream learning system but also attend online or private tutoring lessons. Private and online tutoring has a strong connection to mainstream schooling because it mimics the regular system. It focuses on the same academic subjects that have already been taught in school in order to scale-up the students’ overall academic achievement, privately. Such private tutoring is widely known as shadow education. As the curriculum in regular schools changes, it also changes in shadow education. Additionally, as the regular schooling system is developed, so also does the shadow system.
The scale of shadow education, specifically, private tutoring has grown over the decades and has become a common standard feature in many families. Shadow tutoring is provided in many ways, it can be done as, one-on-one by professionals, semi-professionals or by amateurs. In other cases, it can be provided in small groups, or in lecture formats. Such tutoring requires a significant financial investment by parents and also consumes quite amounts of students’ time to produce the expected outcomes.
Shadow education is ideal for slow learners and high achievers
Shadow education has its benefits. It helps the slow learners to keep up with the pace of their peers as well as scaling-up further the learning of the high achievers. The society is strongly aware that good performance in the education system can shape the future life of the young people by making them access better opportunities, unlike their counterparts who don’t perform well in school. It’s perceived that young people who perform very well in education are likely to gain access to the most desirable university courses which eventually will land them to well-remunerated employment. In contrast, their counterparts who don’t perform well have limited economic prospects in their future life.
Most obviously, an effective shadow tutoring helps slow learners to keep up the learning pace, and in this way, their self-esteem and sense of achievement are highly elevated. Shadow education deals with intermediary spaces where children and tutors can have a chance to address knowledge gaps without being punished at school or being harassed by their impatient parents. Students can therefore do and redo their tasks which they did not perform well in school and, ultimately they are in charge of their own learning.
High achievers can reap too from this system
Equally, shadow tutoring can broaden the learning of high achievers, by giving them satisfaction on their pace which might not be the case when moving with the pace of the whole class. And for the parents, investing in shadow tutoring may give them a feeling of satisfaction that they are doing what they can for their children at crucial stages in life. Effective shadow tutoring is arguably perceived to enhance the overall level of human capital in society.
The future of shadow education
Despite its existing scale, shadow education seems, likely, that it will expand further and also intensify because of the rising ﬁerce local and international academic competition among students. Due to the increased emphasis on academic achievements in most standardized assessments, private tutors are expected by most parents to be the role models of their children. Parents expect the private tutors to have a model code of ethics, such as adopting a polite attitude, no smoking, no drinking, presenting good behavior and also knowing how to dress properly.
Most parents also expect private tutors to provide advice to parents as well as students. Parents tend to listen to private tutors more than the mainstream teachers. And on the other hand, students tend to share their personal issues comfortably with private tutors than their mainstream tutors, parents or other siblings.