Tutopiya, a Singapore-based education startup funded by incubator Spaze Ventures, launched its live streaming tutor app this month, which promises to give consumers access to “rigorously vetted and trained to teach online” tutors. We ask Founder and CEO of Tutopiya Nuha Ghouse to explain why Tutopiya is the future for tutors.
After working as a tutor to students from prestigious schools in the UK and international and local schools in Singapore, Founder and CEO of Tutopiya Nuha Ghouse says as a parent herself, she is passionate about helping each child achieve their full potential.
Equipped with a first class honours math degree from Imperial College, London and previous experience working for five years as a financial consultant for KPMG UK, Ghouse says she is on a mission to provide personalized individual lessons online where students from around the world can learn at their own pace and convenience.
According to Ghouse, the idea for Tutopiya began with a boarding school kid’s request to have online tuition available at Marlborough College in Johor Bahru Malaysia.
After investigating her options, Ghouse says she realized the options for teaching live online were limited, so she embarked on a journey to provide students with a complete, live online tuition solution, combining qualified tutors with the best available technology.
“There was a gap in the market for high quality online one-to-one tutoring that offers customizable solutions, so I think there is a need for a service like Tutopiya because education is a crucial part of ensuring the future success for your child. Our service is unique because it tailors to each student’s exact needs. We are a homegrown startup, and the only live online tutoring platform that vets tutors through in-depth skill reviews including communication skills and online teaching competency tests. We provide highly innovative virtual classrooms for live one-to-one teaching with features that provide instantaneous homework help and lesson recording capabilities,” says Ghouse.
According to Ghouse, Tutopiya offer consumers extensive courses for PSLE, local GCE, O & A Level syllabi as well as the IGCSE syllabi and International Baccalaureate Diploma which are all offered in international schools across a wide range of subjects.
Since its soft launch six months ago, Tutopiya has registered 250 students.
“Students from the ages of 8 to 18 can sign up for personalized live individual lessons with a tutor in the comfort of their homes. We are currently operating in eight markets including Singapore, China, UAE, Australia and the United States. Many of our students are from local and international schools,” says Ghouse.
According to Ghouse, Tutopiya’s focus on delivering quality and curation over quantity will deliver a higher quality service for the student and provides benefits for tutors too.
“Vetting tutors is the most difficult factor to master when hiring a tutor for your child. Our students receive a bespoke education service and under our platform, the tutors are given the ability to focus on the students rather than spending time promoting their services in a crowded market,” says Ghouse.
The tuition market in South East Asia is big business. According to Singapore’s household expenditure survey, private tuition spend in Singapore was over US 768 million in 2018, which nearly doubled the amount households spent in 2005 (USD482 million).
According to a news poll survey conducted by Straits Times and Nexus Research 60% of high school and 80% of primary school age students receive some form of private tuition.
The number of private tuition colleges in Singapore has also grown exponentially in the last decade, with 850 registered centres in 2015, up from 700 in 2012.
To accommodate changing consumer behavior and expectation for services and goods to be delivered online, Spaze Ventures Managing Director, Alex Ng – a Singapore based startup incubator that provides seed capital and mentorship programs under the Startup SG Founder scheme – says Tutopiya is Singapore’s only online tutoring platform which includes language and communication skills tests, in-depth skill reviews, and online teaching competency tests.
“This is a generation of digital natives who are ready for a more effective and efficient way to receive home tuition. The timing is right as students are comfortable learning online and parents can easily choose to increase the frequency of tuition with shorter durations and there is no commuting required on both sides,” says Ng.
At the heart of Tutopiya’s product offering, Ghouse says their focus is on affordability, convenience and adaptability.
“Tutopiya provides a free introductory 60-minute lesson for every student who signs up so they can experience the technology and teaching. Tutopiya’s rates are affordable between SGD 15 – 45 per lesson and gives students the flexibility to select lesson frequency and duration. By providing services which tuition centres and home tutors cannot provide, Tutopiya has a unique proposition for 30-minute regular lessons ideal as a homework aid. All lessons are recorded for student’s revision, parental monitoring and for tutors’ self-review, says Ghouse.
Ghouse says Tutopiya will continue to focus its growth phase in the Singaporean market but will aim to grow its market presence globally in the coming year.