Tutoring, offered to students in different education systems, is conducted with the intention of improving academic performance. Children in developing countries have reading and writing problems as established by research carried out by the University of Chicago (Ingmire, 2014). Some students require more attention and time compared to others before they can integrate information or understand concepts, whether mathematical or scientific. Additionally, in developing countries, where the education systems are not well established, there is a need for volunteers to offer peer tutoring. Essentially, the tutoring programs running currently in India and Africa rely on volunteers. For the programs to be effective, the tutors should be equipped fully with the teaching materials and proper tools required, especially when dealing with younger children.
The quality of the peer tutoring program depends on several factors, which include the preparedness and training of the tutor, time committed by both the tutor and the students into learning. It also hinges on the structure laid down and followed during the tutoring process, and continued monitoring and evaluation of the tutoring materials offered (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). Training of peer tutors, especially non-professional ones, takes time and has cost implications for the program. However, this aspect is crucial for positive outcomes in the performance of the students as their skills improve progressively because of the program. The program’s resources that come from donors have to be used effectively to ensure that the most neglected areas of a country are reached. Moreover, the tutor programs are under constant pressure to produce results which are documented and presented to the funding organizations (Hock, Pulvers, Deshler, & Schumaker, 2001). Engaging the students in interactive activities and stating the goal of the tutoring program to their education helps to advance their reading and writing skills.
Research on 29 schools offering to tutor elementary students with reading problems showed high effectiveness when the tutors were trained or had an educational background (Elbaum, Vaughan, Hughes, & Moody, 2000). The tutors should have the ability to motivate the students to learn and practice their skills. In essence, children in neglected areas might not be ultimately interested in education, and hence the tutor must go an extra step in explaining the importance of learning in their lives. With a proper understanding of the benefits of education to the students’ life, they will be encouraged to learn new concepts even when it is difficult. The student-tutor relationship should yield positive results in the academic performance of the tutee (Boud, Cohen, & Sampson, 2001). Further research conducted to evaluate the quality of tutoring programs found that students improve in all subjects despite having received tutoring in one core subject.
Students with reading problems who are enrolled in a tutoring program find that writing becomes easy and therefore they enjoy school classes more than they did before. Such students attend school more regularly which results in the rate of attendance improving steadily. In collaboration with school-feeding programs, a balanced meal is offered to the students who attend school (Kevin, 2010). The overall effect is that the literacy level of children in the community improves as well as their nutrition and health status. The tutoring program can also target school dropouts and help them to recover and re-enroll in schools. Offering the tutoring option in developing countries reduces the number of children who miss school daily. Indeed, peer tutoring, which if developed and implemented effectively in schools, aids the academic performance of both children and adults.
Boud, D., Cohen, R., & Sampson, J. (2001). Peer learning in higher education: Learning from & with each other. London, NY: Kogan Page.
Elbaunz, B., Vaughn, S., Hughes. M. T., & Moody, S, JJ (2000). How effective are one-to-one tutoring programs in reading for elementary students at risk for reading failure? A meta-analysis of the intervention research. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 605-6 19.3
Hock, M. F., Pulvers, K. A., Deshler, D. D., & Schumaker, J. B. (2001). The Effects of an After-School Tutoring Program on the Academic Performance of At-Risk Students and Students with LD. Remedial and Special Education, 22(3), 172-186. doi:10.1177/074193250102200305
Ingmire, J. (2014, January 27). Targeted tutoring can reduce ‘achievement gap’ for CPS students, study finds. UChicago News [Chicago].
Kevin, M. (2010). The school food revolution: Public food and the challenge of sustainable development (32). London: Earthscan.
U.S. Department of Education (2001) Evidence that Tutoring Works. Washington DC.