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Jakarta Post

Super tutors help students to achieve higher education goals

  • Inforial

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 25, 2017   /  12:00 am
Super tutors help students to achieve higher education goals - (-/-)

It is no secret that entering Indonesia’s state universities, e. g. University of Indonesia (UI), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) or Gadjah Mada University (UGM), can be a pretty tall order.

“Materials included in the State University Entrance Selection [SNMPTN] are more complex than those being taught in school,” said Dr. Eng. Sumarsono ST., MT, OCP, the founder and CEO of Elite Tutors Indonesia.

Elite Tutors Indonesia is a firm offering tailor-made private tuition services for high-end clients. The firm recently became a legal entity following years of offering courses informally. It started to offer courses in 2008.

To add to the complications, typical SNMPTN packages are prepared, containing seven or eight different test batches for each of the streams, be they natural sciences, social sciences or a combination of both.

This is the reason why, because of anxiety associated with their effort to get their children into private universities, parents often fall victim to certain private tuition firms boasting false claims that they can somehow guarantee that those who enroll in their program will secure a place in these prestigious higher education institutions, according to Sumarsono.

“Parents must be very careful when dealing with such claims. How can you guarantee that a particular student will be enrolled in a state university? It is almost as dubious as doctors who claim they can guarantee their patients’ total recovery. Also, think about the moral hazard of such claims [to the students]: If it’s guaranteed that I’ll be accepted, then why do I need to study?” Sumarsono said.

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This is why, instead of relying on dubious promises of a quick-fix place, parents should focus on instilling in their children the right skills in order to greatly improve their chances in passing the test instead of grooming their children in a long-term private learning process in order to prepare them for the enormous task of completing the SNMPTN successfully.

Unfortunately, as has been discussed above, the lessons received at school alone are not sufficient to help them pass the test.

“Each individual has his or her own style of learning. The mass learning system offered by our schools isn’t adequate in catering to these individual differences,” he said.

This is where the “super tutors” come into play. Recently there has been a growing trend in Singapore and elsewhere in the world of private tutors capable of providing children with tailor-made lessons to adjust to their personal learning styles based on a customized syllabus aimed at helping children improve certain areas of their learning in order to reach their desired goals.

The clients of these super tutors are business owners, top executives as well as public officials.

Under the guidance of Sumarsono, the firm employs a number of professional private tutors to help children go through an intensive long-term learning process in order to make it through the SNMPTN.

“During our first meeting with our clients, we will first administer a test to assess the children’s cognitive capability level or to detect the root problem of their learning difficulties. We will then develop the syllabus, which varies from a six-month to a 2.5-year learning plan, from there,” he said.

According to Sumarsono, many educational institutions fail to detect the root cause of learning difficulties, which can be surprising sometimes.

“For instance, a student might find physics difficult because he is weak in mathematics. Or when he does poorly in chemistry because he has a low lexical level that causes him trouble in comprehending instructions in his test sheets,” he explained.

For one stream of science, children might require 6 to 8 different tutors to teach them different aspects of the lessons they have to master.

Apart from giving lessons, these tutors will also take the students in a “campus tour” in order to get them introduced to their chosen field of study so that they do not end up taking the wrong field.

It has been known that motivation also plays a role in determining a particular student’s learning results. Because of this, the tutors have to go beyond their roles as teachers: they also have to be the students’ friends who constantly boost their spirits.

“This is why, once in every three months, the students and tutors have activities together, whether it’s playing soccer or watching a film, in order to develop trust and closeness,” he said.

It is no wonder that they are called super tutors: those at Elite Tutors Indonesia also help students to procure the equipment and applications needed for them to participate in the SNMPTN. Therefore, parents just have to sit back and relax while their students prepare for the test.

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