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Why is there a huge demand for private tutors in the UAE?


Dubai: The high demand for private tutors is a major talking point in the UAE, with many asking students if they need support courses beyond their school studies.

Mirroring trends elsewhere, too, students in different courses in the UAE often attend additional tutoring, especially at the secondary or high school levels, as they are about to sit for board exams. Gulf News interviewed parents, students, schools and tutors to find out why.

What parents and students say

John Abraham, the father of a 12th grader at an Indian curriculum school, said his son gets extra accounting and math lessons from teachers at his own school after school twice a week.

“I found it difficult to cope in class, so I signed up for these extra classes,” his son said.

As announced by the Ministry of Education last Tuesday (December 29), all public schools in the UAE will also adopt distance learning for the first two weeks of the term starting on January 3.

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“What happens is that in schools, the teachers have a syllabus that they have to complete within a set time. Students need to do a lot of homework at home and if they don’t do it well, we as parents can’t always get involved, private Tutoring is the only answer,” said Frank Abraham, adding that he pays Dh500 a month for each subject.

Another Dubai mum, who did not want to be named, said she had also spent “a lot of money” on private lessons for her son, a Year 11 student at a British curriculum school.

“Not only did he take co-curricular science subjects, he also took art classes because it was required. My son said he couldn’t handle anything else. Not every kid can keep up with the pace and style of the school,” she said claim.

Zahra Shah, mother of three girls, ages 10, 9 and 4, said she has enrolled her two older daughters in online abacus classes for two terms because it gives them something to do outside of school Do.

“I don’t feel like private tutors are needed for formal school subjects now, as I myself can give them extra attention at home. But I’m not sure how it will be at secondary school. If they can’t handle it, I’d definitely consider private tutoring,” she says .

a bowler’s take

Sneha Sahay, the headmistress of the Dubai school and topping the IB score in 2022 with a score of 45, said there was a reason why many opted for private tutoring.

“The IB curriculum places a lot of emphasis on self-study. In order to fully understand the concepts, students have to go beyond what is taught in school. Not everyone can do this on their own and requires external support,” she says.

Sahay, who is currently studying at medical school in the UK, is lucky that she can manage it on her own. “But that’s not the case for a lot of other people,” she said, adding that she helps anyone who’s struggling in a diploma program or a middle school course (chemistry or biology) over the summer through September.

what does the school say

Sheela Menon, principal of the Ambassador School, which offers ISC and ICSE courses, believes that the main reason parents are rushing to hire private tutors is that “the school curriculum has not been redesigned in a more student-friendly way according to current needs for a generation”.

She said: “There are too many subjects to learn, regardless of whether they can stimulate students’ interest and motivation, coupled with heavy courses and limited time, it is often difficult for students to absorb and absorb so much in a period of time.” Yes, senior year intensive or home study is part of growing academic responsibilities and expectations. “

Menon said a large number of students were satisfied with their schooling at the Ambassador School.

“When schools fail to implement adequate homework policies, reasonable distribution between subjects and spacing between submission deadlines, additional help understanding the curriculum, more practice time and guidance to complete the Homework and prep. With intense competition and calls for greater academic rewards and higher expectations for goals and objectives, parents often feel the need to enroll their children in additional classes in the form of tutoring.”

That being said, she clarifies, “A student who is attentive in class, takes full advantage of the teacher’s expertise in the subject, and is mature enough to manage his/her work well, will not be attracted to tutoring. Furthermore, Taking extra classes is mainly due to fear and insecurity of losing out to the competition, or fear of not being able to reach their desired higher education destination, and last but not least peer and parental pressure.”

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Classroom and Home Learning

On the question of the extent to which classroom learning needs to be supplemented by home learning, Dr Lisa Johnson from the Taaleem School Group said, “The arguments for and against homework are not universally decided and there are differences among educators, parents and Researchers. However, recent research suggests that the academic benefits of homework are limited and inconsistent, especially for younger students.”

“A Stanford University researcher found that too much homework can have a negative impact on kids, especially when they live away from school when family, friends and activities are important to them,” she said. Say, here at AAG we do have homework, but try to balance self-study work with suggested activities that build independence, time management skills, and delve into what we call “passion projects” that are driven by personal interests. We also have some family Homework programs are specifically designed to engage parents in their children’s education.”

She gave the example of a legacy assignment where students interviewed grandparents. “Homework of this nature is about building experience, rather than the redundant rote learning that often dominates homework in traditionally focused schools,” she added.

Fatima Martin, Principal and Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Millennium Schools, said: “Teachers at our GEMS Millennium Schools participate in free intervention programs that have proven to have significant benefits in improving student achievement. Project-based learning, regular follow-up assessment Designed “for” learning rather than “for” learning, it provides opportunities for students to expand their critical thinking and assertive reasoning skills, all designed to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of concepts.

“This approach continually builds on students’ study skills, equipping them with resilience, retrieval strategies, and time management. Our open door policy to students and parents also enables them to discuss their academic concerns with faculty.”

what did the tutor say

By law, they are required to register with the authority for their tutors in support courses who have indicated that they are more than happy to help if necessary.

Dubai-based Nomita Kakkar runs online courses with expert tutors such as caters to students of all courses including IGCSE, GCSE and CBSE.

“We have around 300 students coming to us and over 50 teachers giving them the support they need. Some even come to us for language courses like Spanish, French and Arabic,” she said.

“Competition is fierce and we design assignments and activities to allow students to do well in competitive exams,” she said.

Sana Basher of Ghaff Kids, another Dubai-based online tutoring agency, said many students have taken online classes with tutors in their home countries.

She said Ghaff Kids also provides support classes in maths and science for CBSE students, in addition to some subjects in the extra-curricular areas that students need.

“Academics are part of learning. By the end of a student’s school life, his or her enthusiasm will make a difference. In addition to academic excellence, extracurricular interests will help in writing essays and facing interviews during college admissions. Therefore, in It is very important to develop students in this area,” she said.

According to her, parents turn to cram schools for two basic reasons.

According to her, parents turn to cram schools for two basic reasons. “Each child has his or her own learning pace, which cannot be met in a school with 30 to 35 students in a class. Secondly, parents have their own expectations for their children, and they want their children to constantly improve and surpass. They Either take responsibility by putting in the extra effort yourself, or hire a personal tutor,” she says.


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