x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Half of Abu Dhabi parents hire private tutors, survey finds

An Abu Dhabi Education Council survey this year finds 20,775 parents (47 per cent) use the services of private tutors for Arabic, English, maths and science.

ABU DHABI // Almost half the parents in the capital send their children for after-school tutoring, despite many tutors operating illegally.

A survey by the Abu Dhabi Education Council this year found 20,775 parents (47 per cent) use private tutors for Arabic, English, mathematics and science.

More than 50,000 parents have responded to Adec’s questionnaire, which rates quality of education and schools in the emirate.

Full results of the survey will be announced at the end of the month.

Private tutoring by expatriates is illegal because visa rules state no one can do paid work for anyone other than their sponsor, but is hard to regulate.

Many schoolteachers tutor after school for extra income. Private lessons can cost between Dh100 and Dh200 an hour, with teachers increasing their rates during examination time.

There are also licensed centres that offer coaching after school in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

While many pupils need extra academic support, parents should be wary of unscrupulous tutors, said Joanna Lynch, the director of The Tutoring Centre in Dubai.

“Families need to be cautious for their child’s safety and also verify the qualifications of such tutors,” said Ms Lynch.

She said registered centres such as hers offered programmes to hone skills.

“We do not fix their immediate problem, like their academic gap at school, but instead address their skill gaps in reading, writing and maths,” Ms Lynch said.

Some schools have developed after-school programmes to assist children in key subjects.

Dr Masood Badri, the executive director of research, planning and performance management at Adec, said parents had provided valuable feedback to improve the education system.