Are you fed up with another not-so-great report card? Or perhaps you just want your child to have some one-on-one attention in a particular subject and work a little bit harder or learn a little bit more than the rest of the class. Parents who send their kids to schools in Dubai are often faced with this question.
There are many reasons you might be considering a tutor for your child, and if so, you’re in luck, because Dubai offers an ever-growing, highly organized and professional market for it. As a parent, you are spoiled for choice – qualified and experienced tutors with a background in teaching and academics are available to help children from the ages of four to 18 and for almost all the curriculums taught in the UAE.
According to a Khaleej Times report published in 2010, 60% of senior students in some Dubai schools are getting the benefit of private tuition. The rates vary between Dhs100 to Dhs250 per lesson depending on where you live. There are a multitude of ‘coaching centres’ in areas like Karama and Bur Dubai where the rates are on the lower side, whereas from Jumeirah onwards to New Dubai the average price of a tutorial lesson will be at Dhs150 or more. Some rates can go higher than Dhs250 per lesson, depending upon the tutor.
You can source a tutor through word of mouth (a friend’s recommendation, say), through the internet, by asking your child’s class teacher or school or by advertising on a site such as dubizzle.com. The UAE government law does not officially allow private tutoring and there is a threat of severe penalties. However, it is not unusual to see advertisements for private tutors in the classified sections of newspapers or on supermarket notice boards. Nor is it unheard of for parents to quietly ask their children’s teachers for extra classes on the side.
Power Tutoring in the Knowledge Village (04-364 3080) offers everything from individual tutoring ‘for optimal student performance’ to small group tuition and even mentoring and personal development if that is what you seek. When January comes around, and there is the annual headache of exams for entrance to some of Dubai’s top schools (ie Dubai College, Jumeirah College), Power Tutoring, and others like them, can help by preparing students by drilling them in the questions they can expect.
MyPrivateTutor.ae says it is the UAE’s largest online community of students and teachers, where tutors can find students and vice versa in cities throughout the country. However, you have to sign up for membership. Basic membership is free, premium membership costs $20 per month and gives you access to the site’s database of tutors in your location as well as their contact details, access to an online tutor and access to information on all the classes and tutorial centres in your location.
The Tutoring Center (04-435 6548) which opened in Dubai last year is located in the Knowledge Village and says it is the leading after -school programme in North America. It offers a ‘Geniuses in Training’ maths programme, online homework help, writing enrichment and study skills enrichment programmes as well as help with pre-SATs and Advanced Placement mathematics for those in the American curriculum. You can go online and even take a look at the profiles and educational experience of some of their staff before you even decide.
At peoplearesmart.com, there are classified ads for all sorts of tutoring – for everything from piano classes to Russian language lessons. You can instantly get prices and a mini tutor profile along with contact details. Sylvan Learning (04-4344500), with centres in Barsha and Mirdif, offers customized tutoring programmes, again based on the American curriculum.
And if your child is looking for ways to get ahead in the extremely competitive Indian curriculum, then dubai-tuitions.com (050-902 1272) can help, with what it says are cost-effective, customized lessons for the CBSE, ICSE exams. There are also tutoring lessons for GCSE exams and the American high school diploma as well as upcoming plans for Vedic Maths classes (which teach clever shortcuts in speed maths).