How new private tuition permit will help UAE residents earn second salary

Some say these free work permits must be tied to certain qualifications to ensure that educators offering private lessons meet specific requirements


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Mon 18 Dec 2023, 5:34 PM

Last updated: Tue 19 Dec 2023, 5:39 PM

With the new private tuition work permits, teachers and other eligible residents will get the chance to earn second salaries, education experts told Khaleej Times.

Announced on Monday, the collaborative initiative between the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) allows qualified professionals to obtain private teacher work permits. This enables them to conduct private lessons either individually or in groups.

Apart from fostering better alignment between private lesson content and the formal school curriculum, it is also being viewed as a chance for various residents to enhance their existing income streams.

This follows a recent collaborative initiative between the MoHRE and the Ministry of Education (MoE), where qualified professionals can now obtain private teacher work permits. This enables them to conduct private lessons either individually or in groups.

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Kelvin Hornsby, principal/CEO, GEMS World Academy Dubai and senior vice-president for education at GEMS Education, said: “I believe the introduction of new work permits for teachers offering private lessons in the UAE has the potential to help them supplement their current income in several ways. With formal recognition and regulation, teachers offering private lessons may be able to reach a broader client base, including students and parents who prioritise working with licensed and permitted educators.”

Enhancing marketability

They highlight additionally, having a work permit can enhance the credibility and marketability of teachers offering private lessons, potentially allowing them to attract more students and charge higher rates for their services.

“The issuance of work permits can provide formal recognition of teachers offering private lessons, acknowledging their expertise and contributions to education. This can enhance their professional status and potentially improve their job satisfaction,” added Hornsby.

However, they emphasise these free work permits must be tied to certain qualifications and standards, ensuring that educators offering private lessons meet specific requirements.

This can help maintain the quality of education provided through private tutoring and ensure that students receive high-quality instruction.

Muhammad Ali Kottakkulam, Principal, Gulf Indian High School; Dubai said, “This is a welcome move for both the students, who essentially need additional support outside their classrooms, and for teachers who need an extra income to make ends meet.”

Additionally, they highlight some students need personalised support to improve their grades in certain subjects. “Teachers who are willing to offer such help need this to be considered as legal.” They explain henceforth, they will have “nothing to worry about” provided they possess the permit.

“The teaching fraternity who are in need and are ready to go the extra mile for an additional earning will benefit from the new scheme. It will also check the practice of underqualified and incompetent people offering private tuition and will ensure good quality for private tutoring,” he added.

Establishing connections

Headteachers point out formalising the process for private tuition will also allow for schools to have the opportunity to connect with private tutors.

Matthew Burfield, Executive Principal/CEO, GEMS Founders School – Dubai and Senior Vice President – Education, GEMS Education said, “This will allow for greater synergy between the work being conducted in private lessons and the formal curriculum offering in schools. This connectivity should then allow for messages to remain consistent between the different sectors, ensuring children and parents get the clarity needed to develop their understanding.”

However, Burfield has a word of caution. He explains while there is a potential benefit, “It is essential that teachers of children who are in their own school don’t form private lesson relationships. This blurs the lines and would be against education policies.”


Communities hail move

Meanwhile, potential beneficiaries and community members explain formalising the private lesson industry further will keep students safe and ensure learning between institutions and other educational options remains as seamless as possible.

Egyptian expat, Hemes Sherif who now works as a supply planner at Reckitt Benckiser said, “A year ago, while studying at a university in Dubai, I considered seeking private lessons. However, I refrained from pursuing that option as I was aware it was not permitted by the law. Nonetheless, I became aware that some individuals were offering such services discreetly to earn extra income.”

She highlights on numerous occasions international students studying at local universities who look out for financial support. “If there is a thriving tuition community near their residences it proves to be beneficial both for the students as well as for the educators. The market becomes more competitive and the quality of instruction improves.”

Similarly, homemaker Fatima Manal, who is well-versed in Arabic, always wanted to offer private lessons but didn’t because she knew it was illegal. “I will be applying for the permit. I have always wanted to teach Arabic and this will help me earn some money, too.”

With inputs from Sahim Salim

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