Monday, January 22, 2007

If for a moment I thought that I have been trying to gain attention with my antics on campus, I'm glad I've come nowhere near the nonsense these HK tutors are up to:

In a highly competitive HK tuition market, tuition agencies are now marketing themselves by showing off their most attractive staff in their advertising campaigns. We're talking 'attractive' as in long-legged catwalk-sizzling supermodel-types with the poise, coiffure and come-hither allure to match. Don't ask me what the men are marketed like, 'cos I've never met an attractive man before, and I don't particularly want to either [ed. careful, your biases are showing].

And this whole image thing isn't just for a one-off photo-shoot either. They maintain their appearance in class too, or I guess the fallout from a false-advertising claim would be quite devastating to the company. So they're all gorgeous and dressed to kill so that they can teach a bunch of horny 14 year-olds English.

While having a swarm of English-speaking Gisele Bundchen lookalikes in my staffroom would do wonders for my morale, I do wonder which demographic the ad campaigns are pitched at. Would the pre-adolescent student have enough decision-making ability in the family to insist on going to a school whose teachers have the most outstanding gazongas? Would a mother trust a teacher who looks better in person than she did in her wedding album? Or does dear, distracted, drooling Dad decide? I dunno enough about family dynamics in HK to say for sure, so marketing the sex-appeal of teachers doesn't make much sense to me.

But so far, all this looks like fun and games. Besides, it's great for the teacher's ego to admire his or her own glam poster put up at the MTR station, and the money's apparently great too -- the best tutors teach up to 4,000 kids, so they must be getting astronomical fees.

But what exactly are they teaching the kids? From the article, as far as I can tell, the one (and only) expert educational point they impart is in "predicting what questions will be asked in the exams." Now, that is absolute crap, teaching kids to memorize and regurgitate on cue. If that's all, I hope the kiddies will get their money's worth in jiggly eye-candy because they sure aren't getting an education.

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