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.