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This Digital Educational Tool Might Just Be What Kids Need To Excel In Online Classes

Dear parents, have you heard of Singapore's 88tuition? Here's everything you need to know about the academic service that couldn't have arrived in Manila at a better time

To say that moms and dads have had to make adjustments in their lives to best cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis is an understatement!

Ask the mom who's had to walk the tightrope of working from home and caring for her family, the parents who've had to divide chores between themselves in the midst of online conference calls and deadlines, or the dads who contend with frightening thoughts about growing uncertainty—they know exactly what this means. 

It's a tough time to be a parent these days, that's for sure, but no matter how difficult things have become, there's one thing that they would never allow to be burdened by the effects of the pandemic: their children's future.

And as the opening of the 2020-2021 school year looms over the horizon for most Filipino children, moms and dads have shifted their focus to their kids' educational needs. 

How they'll manage online classes, who will help kids with assignments, or even if they'll be able to keep up with their own responsibilities while playing the hybrid role of parent-tutor are but a few concerns moms and dads have mulled over in their minds.

But before overwhelming anxiety from these thoughts creeps in, know that there’s still good news and even solutions.

If you haven't yet heard of Singapore's 88tuition, now is the time to get up to speed as it might be the educational tool that'll ease parents' fears about their kids going back to school in a time like this.

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What 88tuition is about

88tuition is a supplementary online educational tool developed in Singapore in 2018. It's essentially a digital tutoring service that covers a breadth of subjects taken up by students in grade school and high school. Lessons are delivered via high-quality videos that feature actual lecturers conducting the discussion.

How it came about

Singaporean educators recognized the growing and unextractable role of technology in the lives of students. The youth today are digital natives; they live and breathe a world steeped in technology, which meant it was imperative for the educational system to update itself to keep up with this development and stay relevant, interesting, and effective. 

“In 2018, the transformation of education had already begun across the world. The impact of technology (in its widest sense—computing, video, and connectivity) was going to change how students learn. All we did was put ourselves in that space and embarked on a journey to speed up the process. It is difficult to predict when the move to online learning will gain momentum, but the direction of travel is clear. The COVID-19 pandemic may speed up the process," says Arshia Ahuja, 88tuition's Strategy & Marketing Head.

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Who the 88tuition teachers are

Only highly qualified Singaporean teachers teach featured lessons on 88tuition. Majority of 88tuition lecturers have experience in teaching in Ministry of Education (MOE) schools in Singapore, which helps assure parents of lecturers' teaching competence and mastery of their subject. Parents can even view teachers' resumes on the 88tuition website.

How it functions as a supplement to traditional classroom learning 

88tuition does not replace traditional classroom learning, and it is also not meant to take the place of online classes administered by a child's school during this time. It was developed to be a supplementary aid to lessons learned in school, albeit a very comprehensive one. Think of it as an after-school enrichment program for students; it's not meant to take the place of class, but rather, help students have a better grasp of their lessons.

If there was something a student was too shy to ask in class, a lesson that went by too fast, a concept they have difficulty with, an exam they have to prepare for, or struggle with maintaining their attention during a classroom session, these are the best times 88tuition can step in. 

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How it’s different from other online educational materials

It differs mainly with the fact that it was professionally designed by members of Singapore's academic community. More so, 88tuition is patterned after actual school curricula. Lessons follow official Singapore MOE syllabi, providing them with an academic basis for content, structure, pace, and depth. 88tuition has been a trusted enrichment program in Singapore to prepare for the rigorous Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE).

Aside from its academic foundation, Arshia adds that "simple things like front facing teachers, lesson breaks based on attention spans, the friendly and approachable demeanor of the teachers" were also taken into consideration when developing 88tuition materials. 

88tuition materials are certainly a notch or two above what parents might find in Google search results where video lessons, despite tackling similar subject matters, might not have been as properly or comprehensively fleshed out by their creators. 

How 88tuition lessons are designed

88tuition is guided by a "teach-assess-review" teaching method. The "teach" component mostly follows a question-answer format (i.e.: test-taking format) that focuses on strengthening a student's understanding of core concepts needed for them to confidently progress to their lessons' next steps. 

The "assess" part makes sure that this level of understanding is measured via practice sets/mock tests. Right away, a student can see how well they grasped a lesson.

And lastly, the "review" aspect of the method is the opportunity given to students to go through their practice sets/mock tests with the guidance of an 88tuition teacher. This step proves to be incredibly valuable in the learning and information retention process as teachers don't only provide answer keys but explain how an answer was reached. (They show students keywords in questions to watch out for, or a step-by-step guide of using equations, for example). Extra questions/assessments tools are also provided to students to give them more opportunities to practice their lessons.

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How 88tuition materials are accessed, and who can access them

All students, including those in the Philippines, can gain full access to 88tuition's videos so long as they have an Internet connection in place. "We were fortunate to find a like-minded partner in Security Bank which allowed us to accelerate our plans in the Philippines, create a country-specific site, and launch an exclusive pricing scheme for Security Bank credit and debit cardholders. We are also in the process of setting up infrastructure to be able to service our Filipino customers," reveals Arshia. 

How much it costs

88tuition's developers have acknowledged the unfair playing field created by a child's socioeconomic status. Given the additional financial constraints imposed by the COVID-19 crisis, it was explained that payment plans were made even more flexible to reduce the burden on parents.

"In Singapore, 88tuition provides very high quality education at much more affordable rates. Unlimited access for the entire year’s syllabus is priced at a little over $100... In the Philippines, 88tuition has launched monthly pricing to add flexibility, reduce the upfront cost, and make it more accessible to all families. Pricing begins at P500 a month for unlimited access to a subject," explains Arshia.

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88tuition also provides non-academic benefits to students and their parents. For one thing, parents are afforded the opportunity to use a child's education as a bonding experience. Traditional schooling has often separated "family time" from time spent on work and school, but 88tuition can involve both parents and kids in the learning process.

There's also the benefit of comfort and convenience. "Essentially, we want to make education available like Netflix," Arshia points. That is, 88tuition is all about making learning professional yet approachable, structured yet tailored to student's individual spaces of consumption effective yet enjoyable.

Students might see that they aren't only doing better in terms of grades, but have also developed a keener sense of appreciation for learning as a whole—definitely something that can be considered a light at the end of the tunnel for moms and dads these days worrying about their children's school performance. 

And with that, moms and dads should be able to approach their kids' educational needs with more confidence—and comfort, too!

Fore more information, visit 88tuition's official website.

Photos courtesy of 88tuition