Private tuition becoming an increasing trend among teachers

Private tuition becoming an increasing trend among teachers
Updated 29 November 2012

Private tuition becoming an increasing trend among teachers

Private tuition becoming an increasing trend among teachers

Even though the Ministry of Education has clearly stipulated that it is against their laws for schoolteachers to offer their students private tuition sessions, many teachers continue this trend.
According to the Muhammad Al-Dukhaini, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, the general rule concerning educators prevents unsystematic teaching sessions in both public and private schools.
“Random advertizements relating to private tuition are also banned by both the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Commerce,” says Al-Dukhaini. “This ban is issued because the government is unable to ensure the quality and level of the teacher’s educational background. The Ministry of Education always warns students and families from hiring random private tutoring sessions.”
Providing students with private tuition is an increasing trend among many teachers, which has led many teachers to skim through the syllabus in class and not provide proper, comprehensive coverage to the classroom students, because they will give a more thorough explanation during the private classes.
Asim Abdullah, a 12th grader at a well-known international school in Jeddah, states that many teachers at his school rush lessons and do not provide detailed explanation during the class. As a result, many students leave the classroom without fully understanding the content of their lesson.
“At the end of the month, we are given an assessment on each lesson and many of us get marks below average,” says Abdullah. “The teacher takes the opportunity and contacts our parents, suggesting we need extra tuition sessions and demand high charges for the extra coaching they provide.”
Abdullah says that the cost of one subject per hour ranges from SR80-SR100 and classes are typically held five days a week.
Al-Dukhaini says that the Ministry of Education usually organizes extra study sessions for students in both public and private schools charging a small amount as fees. To ensure the quality of the teaching provided to intermediate and secondary school students, the Minstry of Education observes these extra tutorial sessions.
“The teaching process at these sessions, according to the guide released in the Hijri year 1422, is conducted either in groups or individually, and includes homeschooling too,” says Al-Dukhani.
“A child’s comprehension differs from one child to the other, which is why some students need extra tutoring time,”says Khalid Msbourah, 50 year-old Egyptian father of five, who has two children currently attending high school.
“In a large class, teachers are not able to give individual attention to students who need additional support. There are many occasions when students benefit from one-to-one tuition in order to enforce what they have learned during school hours,” says Msbourah.
Msbourah says that he agrees that teachers should not privately teach their own 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 these sessions, then perhaps it would be best for them to find private teachers that do not work in their child’s school,” he adds.
According to Joud Shafa, (this individual in question has chosen to remain anonymous) who is a teacher at Dar Jana International School in Jeddah, provides some students who need help with extra classes, and does not consider this to be a conflict of interests.
“It is wrong for the ministry to restrict teachers from offering private lessons,” says Shafa. “The majority of us are not satisfied with the salaries we are paid at schools and regard private tuition sessions as the only means for us to earn more money.”
Many students, on the other hand, don’t appreciate the idea of attending private tuition classes, but at the same time are fully aware that they do not receive adequate attention at school.
“I personally believe that private tuition is far more effective than the lessons we receive at school,” says Amani Zahar, a business student.
“Apart from the fact that many students don’t receive individual attention from their teachers at school, many students don’t feel comfortable raising a question-if they have a doubt- in front of a number of their classmates. They would rather ask more questions in the presence of their private tutor only ” says Zahar.
Zahar also mentions that many students are less attentive in class, especially while around friends and that could be another reason why they require private tuition.
While some teachers speak of providing paid tuition to their students, others think differently.
“I, as a teacher myself, totally disagree with the idea of a teacher giving paid private tuition to her own students and from the same institution,” says Hina Baik, ESL teacher at Manarat Girls School (Arabic Section).
“A teacher should never misuse the opportunity and teach a student with the notion of earning more money. If that is the case, it is simply cheating,” says Baik.
Baik adds that some students need to be given extra coaching and more attention by their teachers, but never with the intention of earning an extra riyal.
“If students are not being taught well at school, what is the use of us (parents) paying school fees?” asks Msbourah. “We could all just opt for private tutoring for our children, rather than sending them to school.”
Al-Dukhaini states that several measures have been taken by educational and administrative departments to investigate the matter of teachers giving private tuition classes.
He adds that following an investigation; the teacher will then be transferred to the teachers’ court where he/she will receive a warning, as per the laws of education.