Tutoring apps are getting popular among students and tutors in Hong Kong. Snapask
is one of them. The app’s concept is simple: provide students with instant assistance.
It works much like an Uber (the car-hailing app) for the tutoring business. Students
post their questions on the platform. The app directs them to the right group of
tutors, and those tutors compete for “orders”. The tech start-up has a pool of more
than 700 tutors, most of them college students. “In general, tutors will reply in
an average of 17 seconds,” Snapask founder Timothy Yu says.
Before such apps were available, students mainly attended cram schools for extra
lessons after school. Being cheaper and more flexible is Snapask’s key draw for students.
As regards tutors, they can make productive use of fragments of time — like when
they are on a bus or when they are taking a break between college classes — to earn
some extra bucks. Students send their questions through a combination of texting,
photos and voice messages. A Snapask tutor gets paid about HK$5 (50 pence) per question
answered. “Most students go to cram schools because their parents ask them to,” a
Snapask tutor surnamed Chan told the Hong Kong Economic Journal Monthly. “I have
worked for those schools before, and some students kept yawning in the class. Some
often arrived late, some left early and asked me to cover up for them.” Chan said
Snapask students are at least eager to learn and therefore take the initiative to
approach tutors. Revenue at Snapask, which was launched in January, has already reached
about HK$100,000 a month. So far, 15,000 students have tried the service. Chan said
he is never going to switch back to traditional tutoring. “Face-to-face tutoring
takes up too much travelling time,” he said. By contrast, a tutor can respond to
a Snapask question at any time and from anywhere, Chan said.
My Maths Tutor Camps in My Garden
Canadian student Evan Eames camped for 10 months in the back garden of a house in
Stockport whilst completing his master’s in astrophysics. In exchange for a free
pitch, he gave Charley Mantack, the owner, tuition in maths to help her pass her
GCSE maths course at Stockport College. With university fees set to increase over
the next few years, and the sharing economy on the rise, might this become an increasingly
popular model of tuition?
"Top qualities: Personable, Expert, Good Value."
"It is always a pleasure passing on positive feedback received, thank you on behalf
of Fleet Tutors for all your hard work and preparation."
“Barry, Great news, Jack got A's in his 2 retakes. We are really pleased, thank you.”
“I’m writing to thank you for helping Amy to achieve such good results. You should
have seen the look of amazement, then delight, on her face yesterday, as she read
down the list of grades! When she made that first dramatic improvement to her Science
grades, it changed her whole perception of herself, and she realised that with increased
effort and determination she might quite possibly be able to do very well in her
other subjects, too. That was when she began to have far greater belief in herself
and work much harder. I really think it was a life-changing event. I’m really grateful.
Thank you so much.”
5/5 “Very helpful, clear & concise, punctual and helping me to understand biology
5/5 “We have noticed a considerable change in our daughters confidence since Barry
has been working with her to help her understand Maths. She says he explains it in
a way that makes sense to her, something she was never able to do in the classroom
whilst at school. She also found difficulty at college understanding the subject
but is able to bring to her sessions with Barry anything she doesn't understand from
her Maths lessons at college. Barry has had to put up with a lot since coming to
our house to teach Samantha as we are having a kitchen refit and the house is in
turmoil but he has on occasion accepted gracefully the fact that a chair in the dining
room to lean on is the only space available to carry out a lesson. We thank him for
this and feel his input has been invaluable. Our thanks to Barry and our only regret
is we didn't employ his services prior to Samantha sitting her GCSEs as we are sure
she would have overcome her demons much sooner with the right approach”.
5/5 “Barry has been superb so far. He set me a challenging but realistic scheme of
work by which I shall make sure to meet deadlines. He's great at answering my questions
and makes Biology seem a lot more interesting than before!”