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Posted On: 16 June 2013 08:03 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

More Students Opting For Private Tuitions

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Tution techers in Doha are going strong as parents of Qatari and expatriate students seek their services for “extra coaching” to help them score high grades in exams. Qatari students who move from Independent schools to international ones look to improve their linguistic skills in English. Depending on their requirement and convenience, the students choose study centres, group classes held at a teacher’s house or a teacher who makes home visits. Fees for private tuition can vary from QR50 to QR500 or more a month, according to the type of the class. Some of the tutors no longer work in a school, or are qualified but not in the teaching profession. . Other pupils, who have recently arrived from countries where they were taught in other languages, too seek private tutors in English and subjects like science and mathematics. Seeking extra lessons in science and mathematics is also common among expatriate students. They claim private tutors help them score better in examinations. Still other students go for private tuition for unfamiliar subjects like French and Hindi. Many expatriate students in international schools, however, don’t seek the help of private tutors. Teachers in some Indian schools here give private tuition in the school premises and the students have to pay an extra fee for that. Some experienced teachers say this is “unethical”. There are even websites that provide details of private tutors who give one-to-one lessons. The sites mention the qualifications and experience of the tutors and their email addresses. The Peninsula spoke to a cross section of students, parents, teachers and private tutors to find the reasons behind the huge demand for private tuition. A well-qualified expatriate employed in an educational institution in a non-academic position, who also teaches at a “private training centre”, said there was huge demand for private tutoring in the country due to various reasons. “I give tuition to children from schools and universities. I teach them English, and sometimes political science and international relations,” she said. “Some Qatari children shift from Independent schools to international schools. When they come to private schools they are unable to meet the standards as they have studied in Arabic and now they have to study in English. Also, students from Scandinavian countries seek extra coaching in English, mathematics and science as they have studied in their languages back home,” she added. She said the learning centre was planning to open a new branch because of the increasing number of students. An Egyptian father, who pays around QR1,000 a month for coaching for his child in three subjects, believes that private tuition helps a student get better grasp of subjects. “We bring tutors home, because my son needs extra coaching in English, science and mathematics. The teacher is not employed at any school, although she is experienced and qualified,” he said. His son, who studies in grade seven, said: “We are taught at schools, but we get extra coaching from tutors. They give us individual attention and help us improve in special areas which could be beneficial at examinations. We practice a lot of model questions and past question papers. This helps in the examinations.” Some parents send their children to private tutors, even though they are scoring good grades, for interesting reasons. “My son is in grade six and he has scored good grades. Yet I send him to a private tutor because he doesn’t study at home. When he goes to a class, the lesson will be revised,” said a working mother. She sends her son to private tutors in mathematics, science and French once a week, for one and half hours. Indian parents and students, in particular, say they go for private tuition because of the high level of competition in their country for a place in a good university. “Till the ninth grade I didn’t send my daughter for extra classes. Now the Indian Central Board of Secondary Education has introduced a Problem Solving Assessment system, which will include questions from all subjects in one paper. To attempt this paper students need extra coaching and more exposure and practice,” said an Indian mother. “There is more competition among Indian students; it’s very competitive, and they have to compete with exceptionally good students back home to enter a college or university,” she added. A teacher who no longer works in a school teaches her daughter and nine other students for an hour, three days a week, for which she charges QR250 a month. Teachers in Indian expatriate schools who give private tuition to their students in the school premises charge QR250 to QR300 a month. Some percentage of the fee is given to the school management for using the school premises. “It’s not ethical for teachers to give tutorial sessions and take a fee for it from the same students whom they teach at school. Because it’s their responsibility to coach students properly and guide them,” said an experienced Indian teacher in a well-known school in Doha. Some parents prefer to send their children to private tutors who do not teach their children at school. “We decided to send my son as we felt he needed extra coaching in some subjects, including mathematics. The teacher was working at a school previously. We pay QR200 a month and it’s a group class, three days a week. His school also gives extra coaching, but we chose to send the child to a different teacher as that would give more exposure,” said an Indian father. Interestingly, some parents who send their children to international schools say there is “no need” to send them for private tuition. “My children are going to an international school for the past four years. The elder one is in grade ten, but we don’t send them to private tutors because we don’t see any need for it,’’ said a father of two. - See more at: