Dubai: The newly-announced Private Teacher Work Permit has been widely welcomed by UAE residents who say it will offer an extra income and work for unemployed people while regularising home tutoring services, which could help enhance learning outcomes.
On Monday, authorities from education and employment sectors joined hands to regulate “the provision of private lessons for students outside educational institutions” and announced the launch of the “Private Teacher Work Permit.”
The new permit allows a range of different groups of specialised and qualified professionals from the community to offer private lessons to students, individually or in groups. Beneficiaries include registered teachers in government or private schools, employees in the government and private sectors, unemployed individuals, school students aged 15 to 18, and university students.
Sarita Bhattarai, who has three school-going siblings, said the ministry’s move will assure parents that their children are under the supervision of well-trained teachers.
“I have seen that many tutors are available in various neighbourhoods but they don’t necessarily have deep subject knowledge, exposure to examination board regulations or sometimes the flare for teaching. This move will help parents to select their children’s tutors wisely,” said the Nepalese expat.
Subrata Singh, a resident of The Greens Community, said the new permit would allow more options for tuitions in or near gated communities like hers.
“I used to take my son to Bur Dubai for tuitions and it is the same story in most of the households as most of the parents are working. Sometimes kids have to take a cab and go on their own for tuition and other classes away from our community. Such measures [the new permit] will be really helpful for students with extensive syllabuses and when parents are unable to give much of a time especially for children in senior classes,” she added.
Peace of mind
Moreover, the HR professional noted that individuals, who used to take tuition classes before the new permit, can now “get the permit and do it with peace of mind. I am sure the authorities will ensure those who are getting the permits are qualified to provide the service”.
Saimah, an Indian homemaker who gives tuition at home, appreciated the authorities for allowing unemployed individuals like her to legally provide tutoring services. “I am sure the authorities were lenient so far because it is a matter of educating the future generation. With the new permit, they will be regularising the private tutoring sector. I will be applying for the permit to make my classes legal.”
Houssam Mouhib Hammoud, a biomedical engineering student in Ajman University, said it will be a “wonderful opportunity that allows students to work from their home and gain money so they can even cover their tuition fees.”
“In addition to that, tutoring will help assure that the student understands all aspects of the subject he is explaining which results in thorough knowledge surrounding that particular subject/course,” said Houssam who hails from Lebanon.
Waseem Tawba, a dental intern at Emirates Health Services, believes the move will benefit the whole student community.
“I think it is a great opportunity for the students to facilitate their knowledge to help younger students. Also it is a great opportunity for the students to make some extra pocket money. In fact, it is going to be beneficial for both sides, affecting the whole student community. Older students get the chance to improve their teaching skills, while fresh graduates will become aware of the latest updates regarding their subjects from the seniors,” said the Syrian expat.
Pravda Saaj Praveen, a Grade 11 student, said this was the opportunity that she was waiting for. “I love helping my friends and cousins with their lessons and I have realised that I have a knack for teaching. I will be more than happy to give tuition to at least a couple of young students if I can get this new permit. I will enjoy teaching them and I will also make my own pocket money,” said the 16-year-old Indian student.
Dr Thakur S. Mulchandani, school director and principal of Sunrise English Private School in Abu Dhabi said the new permit will be a game changer in the education sector in the UAE.
“The new decision from the ministry allows qualified individuals … who are granted the permit to offer private lessons and generate second direct income. It’s definitely a booster for those teachers who have severe financial responsibilities to earn second income to support their financial needs.”
The introduction of a permit for individuals qualified to provide private lessons “will help curb illegal and unregulated practices which risk affecting the learning process as a whole,” said Dr Thakur, who is also the president of the UAE Sahodaya Schools Complex.
Code of Conduct
Muhammad Ali Kottakkulam, principal, Gulf Indian High School Dubai, pointed out that the initiative marks a positive step forward, benefiting both students seeking extra support beyond the classroom and teachers aiming to supplement their income.
“There’s a clear need for personalised educational assistance for certain students to enhance their performance in specific subjects. Simultaneously, many teachers are willing to provide this aid but require legal recognition. Now, with the necessary ‘permit,’ they can offer support without concerns.”
He said the new system is a boon for educators seeking additional earnings while ensuring quality assistance for students. “It will also address the issue of unqualified individuals providing private tuition, guaranteeing higher standards in private tutoring. Moreover, the Code of Conduct, mandatory for teachers acquiring the permit, aims to prevent accusations made by some parents of ‘teaching focused on tuition’ in regular classrooms.”
NOC from schools
An Indian teacher, who has been providing home tuition for over a decade, said she would love to make her second income legal. However, she was not sure if her school would provide an NOC.
“Most of the schools mention in the contract that it is not allowed to provide home tuition. But, teachers like me are forced to do it because of the low salaries, especially in many Indian schools. We need to either raise the salaries of the teachers or allow them to make an extra income. I thank the UAE authorities for taking the decision to allow teachers to legally earn an extra income to sustain their families. But, I am apprehensive if the schools will be willing to issue an NOC for teachers to provide home tuitions.”
Another teacher, who works with a public school under the Ministry of Education, said the permit is a historic development in the public education sector as teachers employed at the schools under the ministry were strictly banned from providing private tutoring services. “There are many teachers who used to provide tuitions at home before they joined schools under the ministry. Since the ministry has now made it clear that even those who teach in government schools can provide private tuition services, those teachers and others will be interested in opting for the new permit and earn an extra income during their free time. We need to wait and see how the NOC system works in the government schools.”