By Peter Nguyen
According to Thomas Friedman, author of the best-selling book The World is Flat where he describes how the Internet is leveling the playing field for millions of hungry and motivated workers from India, China and other emerging economies, the answer is a resounding yes.
Bill Gates himself, 10 years ago, bemoaned the state of the educational system in the U.S., stating bluntly that "even if the educational system were functioning exactly as it was supposed to, it would not be enough." He believes the system has to be redesigned.
More and more parents, for their part, are willing to invest in "private supplemental education" such as tutors, in order to help their kids get into the most promising colleges and universities.
The current issue of Profit magazine has an interesting article on the franchise tutoring business, covering companies such as Tutor Doctor, Kumon and Oxford.
Apparently, Tutor Doctor hires university student to work at the child’s home, paying them $18 per hour while charging the client (the parent) $35 per hour for, on average, 8 hours per month.
Kumon, with over 300 locations in Canada, uses a different model where parents must ensure their kids do the studying and homework at home, and drop by at the Kumon center only for feedback and clarifications. Kumon’s high ration of student to tutor (as high as 30:1 or even 40:1) differentiates it from other franchise tutoring businesses.