Australian tertiary students are picking up part-time work as online tutors, with parents keeping their kids learning and motivated during the school holidays.
Australian tertiary students are picking up part-time work as online tutors, with parents keeping their kids learning and motivated during the school holidays.

University students in high demand as tutors

University students are finding themselves in demand as tutors as schoolchildren look for help during the holidays.

Many students are struggling to regain ground with their workload after national lockdowns which has led to a spike in bookings for online tutoring companies.

Digital learning platforms such as LearnMate, Cluey Learning and TutorTime have all had a significant surge in interest from parents looking to get their kids caught up or ahead with help from a professional tutor.

Other edtechs like Zookal have recently launched services such as Homework Help, which provides income for university students who were laid off from their casual jobs during the shutdown.

Ali Yusuf signed up his younger siblings year 3 student Zara, 8, and year 5's Uzair, 11, to the program which allows them to go deep into topics like mathematics by learning from a tutor online.

"They can learn at their own pace and having that extra support has boosted their confidence," Mr Yusuf said.

"It's also adaptive to the children's schedule, so at any time of the day or night if they want to ask a question, they have the ability to."

More than 720 students have signed up as tutors, answering questions from over 3200 pupils, in Zookal's first month.

Uni student Lauren Kavanagh, 20, became an online tutor while studying a double degree of Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Philosophy.

She signed up to earn extra pocket money while helping students like Zara and Uzair so they can continue with their online studies.

Tutor Lauren, far right with her two young students, Zara, 8, and Uzair, 10. Picture: Tony Gough
Tutor Lauren, far right with her two young students, Zara, 8, and Uzair, 10. Picture: Tony Gough

"The flexibility it offers is also great because as a university student, my timetable is readily changing so this platform allows me to assist students at different times when needed," she said.

"I can offer support to kids with a wider range of subjects, as opposed to tutoring a single student, one-on-one, for a limited time."

Online tutors can keep students motivated while eliminating any stress or extra work from teachers who have been inundated with emails and curriculum questions from students.

Primary schoolteacher Bianca Khouri said tutors provide another point of contact for students who aren't getting attention from overwhelmed or unavailable teachers.

And high school teacher Helena Adele Kyriacou believes online tutors can offer a different perspective from the school.

"Teachers have different teaching strategies, whereas an online tutor may click with a student, which allows for them to succeed in a topic that they once struggled with," she said.

Originally published as Uni students in 'high demand' as tutors



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