The coronavirus has taken Singapore by storm. With the DORSCON Orange alert announced Feb. 8, events have been cancelled and supermarkets have sold out. Healthcare professionals have been out on the front line as infected cases rise to near 90 cases.
In view of community spreads, many have refrained from close contact and going outdoors. Home tuition, personalized teaching with close contact, however, has not been greatly affected. That’s because a group of unsung heroes continue to educate amidst the virus outbreak – the private tutors of Singapore.
Home tuition in Singapore is a common sight. A tuition agency will find a suitable tutor for the student according to their needs. Then, home tutors visit their students in their homes for a few hours of face-to-face classes. But close teacher-student proximity and interaction with family members puts some tutors at risk. So one question remains: How do private tutors cope with the ongoing virus outbreak?
- Temporary class disruption
Tutor Evelyn Goh expressed that experiencing a virus so close to home really scared her. One of her students attended church that was related to a community outbreak.
To stay safe, the student’s parents suggested to stop classes for a period of time.
“We came to a common consensus to take a week off, just for the safety of two parties. I think it is a sensible move,” said the part-time tutor who now wears a mask during her other classes.
Goh is touched of the parents’ care and concern for her health. However, in view of the current situation, she has decided to put a stop to recruiting new students. Goh’s income has since reduced by 25% and she gives herself two months before taking on new assignments again.
- Good hygiene habits.
Private tutors usually have more than one student, where they travel from place to place and from estate to estate. This greatly increases the risk of being in contact of germs and viruses.
Before student tutor Alice Tan* leaves for lessons, she takes the effort to measure her temperature. Tan also washes her hand before starting the lesson.
“As adults or university students, I think I go out way more than them to different places. I do my best to set up measures for prevention,” she said.
- A Positive Outlook
Tan believes that there is no reason to be worried about the situation.
“The children are educated in school about how to stay germ-free, and they are perhaps even more well-protected than we are,” she said.
Her students have told her how the schools have frequent table-cleaning exercises, staggered recess breaks and hand-washing sessions in between classes. They are also taught how to wash hands properly and advised to avoid crowded areas.
“My students might be safer than me. But in any case, I will do what I can to keep myself clean but life must go on,” said the tutor who stays healthy with yoga.
Parents looking out for tutors and tutors looking out for assignments can stay safe with Tutor City. During the virus outbreak, we do our best to screen tutors and parents.
We would create another match if either tutor or parents have travelled to China, contacted Chinese citizens or travelers in the past 14 days. Through phone interviews, Tutor City works to reinforce the safety of students, parents and tutors.