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Expat teachers warned on private tuition

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 24, (Agencies): Undersecretary of Ministry of Education Haitham Al-Atari insisted that legal measures will be taken against expatriate teachers who offer private tuitions to students without the approval of the ministry.

These legal measures include termination of the teacher’s contract. In a statement to KUNA on Monday, Al-Atari affirmed the genuine keenness of the ministry to ban the phenomenon of private tuitions which violates the laws and regulations.

He revealed that expatriate employees are barred from taking up jobs other than their professional occupation without official permission, adding, “Those who break these regulations will face disciplinary measures.” Kuwait’s educational authorities have been regularly issuing warnings against private tutoring in order to curb this growing phenomenon which has grave social and economic implications. The reason behind the growth of this phenomenon is the fear among students that they will not pass their examinations without the help of private tutors.

Parents, due to their keenness for the educational success of their children, send the latter to private tutors, ensuring their children are part of small study groups if they cannot have access to individual tutoring. Gazi Al-Rashidi, a professor at Kuwait University warned against the booming business of private tuitions, indicating that it now involves all stages of formal education — from high schools to universities — and is causing a deplorable social and economic situation in the country.

He revealed, “Tutors are making a fortune of about KD 500 a day or KD 15,000 a month, as each student now pays up to KD 150 for one hour of private tuitions.” “This has created a new culture. Today, several university teachers are booking tables in restaurants and high-class cafes in Kuwait City to offer private courses. Most of these courses cost KD 150 per hour and tutors spend six hours a day to give private lessons, thereby making KD 900 a day.

In one case, a teacher made KD 1,000 per day by offering private tuitions. By continuing to do this, he can become a millionaire within two years,” Al-Rashidi added. However, he warned that this leads to extremely heavy financial burden on families. Al-Rashidi said, “During exam days, families have to put aside more than KD 800 to finance private courses. The tuitions are not limited to science subjects. This phenomenon is now turning into a general culture in Kuwait, as parents seem helpless and authorities are maintaining silence.”

He lamented that private tuitions is in fact a black market where parents and students are forced to access in order to secure educational success, adding, “Teachers are taking full advantage of the situation, seeking to make easy gains in the shortest time possible. All this is a clear indication of the deficiencies in the educational system of Kuwait.”

Al-Rashidi stressed that the social and economic impacts of this phenomenon are too signifi cant to be ignored, stressing the need to “stop this hemorrhage and prevent education from becoming a way for teachers to make easy money by selling the illusion of success of students and compromise their future.” According to the Central Statistics Bureau, there are 30,915 non-Kuwaiti employees in the Ministry of Education, including 17,110 women and 13,805 men, as of 2015. This fi gure is the highest in any of the state ministries. Ministry of Health is in second place with a total of 29,814 expatriate employees

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