Thu, Dec 17, 2009
Parents queue overnight to enrol kids for tuition

Enrolment for a tuition class attracted a long queue at a student care centre located at Choa Chu Kang block 627 last weekend.

Although official registration for its tuition programme was supposed to start only on 13 Dec Sunday, parents were waiting in line at the Yew Tee Student Care Centre (YTSCC) as early as 7am on Saturday, according to Shin Min Daily.

Shin Min had previously reported last year that the centre is a huge draw for parents due to its success rate and cheap rates.

About 30 parents were already in the queue at about 11am on Saturday. Many of them seemed ready to spend the night there, armed with portable chairs and mats.

A total of 26 classes are open for registration, which can accommodate about 200 students.

Mr Lee, 42, who was first in line, told reporters he had started queuing outside the centre's door at about 7 in the morning, even though he knew registration would only open the next day at 10am.

Students from low income families get 75 per cent 'discount'

He said that the centre was popular with kids from low-income households. Children from families with a combined income of less than $1,500 a month need only pay 25 per cent of the normal tuition fee.

So if the monthly fee was $100, they would need to pay only $25.

To Mr Lee, who works in the construction business, spending the whole day and night in queue is 'well worth it', for the sake of his child's future and to save some money.

Many parents who were interviewed said the centre had a 'first-come, first-served' policy and places were limited. Hence, many of them decided to come a day earlier to queue.

Another parent, Madam Zhong, 47, said she decided to join the queue because her child liked the teachers there. The housewife came prepared with a DVD-player to pass the time.

A staff member at the student care centre said that over the years, it had always advised parents not to queue up prior to the day of registration, but parents still continued to do so.

According to past reports, YTSCC was first set up seven years ago, under the umbrella of the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC). It runs tuition classes and is also a kindergarten, reaching out to students aged 6 to 18.

Not only are the fees low, the teachers are reportedly responsible and have won the hearts of the heartlanders.



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