Expat teachers in Kuwait giving private tuition risk being sacked

Published:  25 Jan at 6 PM
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Expat teachers on contract to Kuwaiti education facilities are now risking the sack if they offer private tuition without Education Ministry approval.

According to the ministry’s undersecretary Haytham al Athari, the full force of the law will be applied to contracted teachers and lecturers giving private, out-of-hours tuition. In a measure aimed at a total ban on private tuition, teachers found to be involved in the so-called ‘phenomenon’ will have their contracts cancelled and face disciplinary action.

Statistics show some 31,000 non-Kuwaiti employees are working for the Ministry of Education, the highest expat total of all the emirate’s ministries. Its employees, including expat teachers, are barred from working in secondary professional jobs unless they have received formal permission from the ministry.

Warnings about private tutoring have been given regularly, as education authorities believe its proliferation has economic and social implications. Private coaching has become important both to students scared they’ll fail exams without it and to parents eager to see their children succeed. For those who can’t afford one-on-one tuition, small study groups are becoming increasingly popular, especially as end of year exams draw near.

According to Kuwait University lecturer Gazi al Rashidi , the popularity of private tuition has spread upwards from high schools to universities, and is increases at a fast rate. It’s an expensive luxury for families, with private tutors now earning high salaries. University lecturers are booking tables in Kuwait City’s upscale eateries and holding private courses for up to six hours every day.

University officials now see the phenomenon as a black market, especially since curriculums now include general as well as science subjects. Al Rashidi considers the trend is an indication of major deficiencies in Kuwait’s public education system, although he doesn’t explain the exact social and economic consequences he predicts.
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