In the last two years we have noticed that a surprisingly high demand for tutoring in chemistry manifested itself - especially the basics seem to baffle students again and again.
This may be partly due to didactic reasons - overburdened teachers and poorly designed textbooks.
We are personally aware of a case from Augsburg, in which a first year chemistry teacher bored his students to death through the first 24 lessons - reciting all kinds of topics without making any connections (as prescribed by and faithfully following the book) - including sermons on (for beginners) rather exotic topics like catalysis and the complex chemistry of metalloid halogenes. In the 25th lesson he began to address the crucial question: "What is an atom?". The class had long switched off into disregarding the queer subject and its proponent - which moved the teacher to fail 10 of the 15 students by year's end. That is not how it's supposed to work.