UAE | Education

Teachers in UAE warned against offering paid private lessons

Parents should seek extra help from schools, education official says

  • By Sara Sabry, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:30 September 1, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
  • Dr Mugheer Al Khaili

Abu Dhabi: A strict warning has been issued to both public and private school teachers who offer paid private lessons to schoolchildren, a senior education official said.

Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khili, director general of Abu Dhabi Education Council, told Gulf News that a hard line will taken against teachers who engage in the practise.

“Any teacher engaged in giving private lessons to primary and secondary pupils for money at homes will be fired. Teachers will, in fact, be responsible for damaging their reputation within the educational community or outside where they should receive respect and admiration.”

The comments come a month before the beginning of the academic year, with parents rushing to book seats for their children at primary and secondary schools in all grades and subjects.

Al Khili added: “Parents should fight this phenomenon and ask the school for support if any problem or difficulty has faced their children during the scholastic year. Regular, free and private classes are being conducted in both private and governmental schools for pupils to assist them in understanding the educational materials and boosting their skills.”

However, the comments drew criticism from some teachers and parents. A 42-year-old Egyptian teacher in a private school told Gulf News: “Giving private lessons can help in coping with the increased cost of living and will provide an opportunity for other teachers to develop themselves and raise their living standards due to unsatisfactory paid salaries and the lack of profession’s warranties in their contracts.

A father of two children at governmental schools added: “Students should take private lessons due to the difficulty of the curriculum and their desire to achieve success within the academic year.”

The move was also unpopular with some students, with a grade 12 pupil telling Gulf News: “Since the beginning of the academic year, I rush to take private lessons in all subjects because this year is crucial to determine my future, despite the fact that private lessons cost my family a lot of money.”

Several teachers, who refused to reveal their identities, explained that the price of private lessons starts from Dh 200 per hour and can increase to more than Dh 500.

They have also pointed out that the private lesson price will be determined by several factors: the distance spent from the teacher to the pupil’s apartment, the total number of pupils registered in their private classes, the teacher’s reputation and the type of subject they teach.

Comments (14)

  1. Added 17:41 September 2, 2012

    Every child should be allowed to get extra help when needed - whether paid or not. That help need not come from a teacher at the child's school. It is my understanding that in the past, some teachers and/or administrators used the excuse of offering 'help' when they were only looking for money - parents would pay for tutoring but would really get only a better grade for the student. The student and the nation miss out in that scenario.

    Ottalie, Yucatan, Mexico

  2. Added 17:16 September 2, 2012

    CHildren learn at different rates and if a child is faced with a large class, teachers just aren't able to give additional support to all individual students within class times. There are many occasions when students do benefit from one to one tuition to back up what has been taught in school. If a teacher goes at the speed of the fastest child, a slow one will miss out. If they go at the speed of the slowest one, the faster students will get bored and not progress quickly. A teacher has to find a pace which will suit the majority of the class. So it's inevitable someone will miss out somewhere. I agree that s teacher should not privately teach their own school students as that could lead to a conflict of interest. However, if a student needs extra coaching and the parents are willing to pay for such, then find another teacher and let it be. Private tuition is huge in places like Korea and other asian countries. Let teachers supplement their income when they are poorly paid. It can be a good service.

    Carrie, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 17:07 September 2, 2012

    I am a student of class 12.I am very weak in my studies.I am losing my interest day by day because of the teachers.Inorder to get more and more money they dont teach the matter in the correct way as well as they go fast to complete the portions without paying attention to the weaker students.Sometimes they give less marks or fail students and ask their parents to send them for tution.At the tution they teach so perfectly that it is unbelieveable that this was the teacher who taught in the school.Moreover just few days before the exams they provide with the questions that are to come in the exam.And if after going to the tution a students is unable to pass the exam,teacher passes the student.Teachers literally harasses the students to join the tution and make them scared of the exams. In the month of april i joined 1 tution for chemistry just for 1 month.I got marks which no 1 got.But due to financial problems i left it.But that teacher said to all the students in the tution that her mother sits 24 hours in parlour and have no money to spend on their children. I believe that today education is not exploring the world but just a simple way to increase your income and minimise your knowledge. I really wish that some1 should stand and take action against these teachers as i am suffering a lot. Thank you gulfnews to raise the questions against these kind of teachers

    Sam, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 16:53 September 2, 2012

    If the students need some extra help with their studies, are the teachers expected to spare them extra time freely? They might have, in the good old days when teachers sacrificed everything to see their students learn well. These days, there is no such thing as 'free'. If the teachers can get 'free visa', 'free medical', 'free ID', etc among other things, they may consider sparing 'free' time for needy children.

    R. Vasudevan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 16:35 September 2, 2012

    I would like to appreciate the Educational Council's decision. Of course teachers are paid less here but teachers should not make the education a commercialized one. Nowadays there is no service mind behind education. Getting a good teacher is a boon on the part of the pupil. In my last PT meeting, one of the teacher was asking to send my child to tutions, still he is in KG and also she is telling teacher's effort is only 30% rest 70% is of parents. If that is the case why we have to send them to the school? School fees, private tutions fees becomes burden on the parent. Like teachers some parents are also paid less. I rather appreciate if the Educational Council think about the payment scale of the teachers, may be they impart the good education to the pupil.

    Parent, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 15:00 September 2, 2012

    I think that the issue should be worked out between a teacher and the parents. If the pupil does need extra help, the teacher helping her after school hours is not a crime. But then, the fee charged should not be ripping.I am a teacher myself and I find parents approaching me to offer their children extra help in studies. I normally do not take tuitions but the demand from parents is too great to resist, at times! The other day I attended an interview in a new school in Ajman . The gate keeper wouldn't open the gate for me until I submitted him my Emirates ID! And what did I get in return? A dirty visitors pass and entry into the school! Does the school authorities think that we candidates came to attack the school? It's high time teachers are [treated differently].

    Richa, shj., United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 13:26 September 2, 2012

    A yearly raise of Dh90 paid to a private school teacher! what you expect them to do. Also, there are parents who do not want to help their children with their homework do seek help from the Teachers.

    Daniel, SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 13:24 September 2, 2012

    Some students struggle at school and college while others do well in the system. Others try to excel and improve themselves in addition to the work load at school so that they may eventually get into a good university. It is so unnecessary for the authorities to get involved in what is essentially a private arrangement between a person who wants to be helped and a person in the position to help. There is no need for such a heavy handed approach. Just let it be and everyone will be happy. Raju, Ajman

    Raju, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 12:47 September 2, 2012

    Time and again this issue was brought up. Happy that this time stern action is taken. While some students really need some extra coaching, some are just forced to go for private tuition offered by their school teachers itself, as the same teachers didn't care to teach systematically in the classes. Some even hint and encourage the students about the private tuition offered by them at their homes. When the teacher is not caring about the students in the classes, they have no other option, but to go for private tuition. Apart from the extra money to be spent from the parents side, this consumes a lot of time for the student too, making the student to tired to concentrate and leaving no time for studying other subjects. Schools should ensure that teachers teach effectively during classes and provide extra time and coaching for those who need. And now, how about a school itself offering extra classes after school hours? Wait, this is not free? For an extra charge of Dh200 per subject! My childrens' school brought out this offer sometime back.

    Mrs. Yousufa, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 12:41 September 2, 2012

    I would like to ask whether any quality mechanism is in schools to ensure the teacher is teaching the subject at school? I know some school teachers are pushing students to take their own private tuition and deliver quality teaching during tuition. Due to these two different sessions for each subject kids have lot of pressure and failure to find some fun time. Whatever is the reason, teaching is a service which they must do with high quality at schools. School management and KHDS have responsibility to stop private tuition services by their own teachers at home and make sure the quality of service at schools is same as tuition.

    Sreechith R, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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