UAE teachers allowed to offer private tuition with new work permit

Change in regulations means educators can apply for the free two-year licence and generate additional income

Teachers in the UAE can apply for the new permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. PA
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A new Private Teacher Work Permit will allow educators in the UAE the ability to offer individual tuition outside of school hours.

Announced on Monday by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the Ministry of Education, the decision is aimed to help pupils at private schools improve their learning, and also regulate the provision of private tutoring outside the classroom.

The new permit allows “different groups of specialised and qualified professionals from the community to offer private lessons for students, individually or in groups”, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation's website.

Eligible people include registered teachers in government or private schools, employees in the government and private sectors, unemployed individuals, pupils aged 15 to 18 and university students.

The move is also intended to combat any illegal private tuition.

“The introduction of a permit for individuals qualified to provide private lessons will help curb illegal and unregulated practices when recruiting private teachers, which risk affecting the learning process as a whole,” said Muhammad Al Mualla, undersecretary for academic affairs in the Ministry of Education.

Mr Al Mualla said the change in practice would protect the rights of private teachers, and “ensure that students receive supplemental education that meets their learning style and needs”.

Teachers wishing to apply for the permit can submit a request for the Private Teacher Work Permit through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation's smart application, website or e-services system.

The permit is free for two years and allows qualified educators to offer private lessons and generate extra income, as long as they sign a “code of conduct” document approved by the Ministry.

Anyone offering private lessons without a permit will be subject to fines. However, details on the severity of the penalty were not given.

Teachers have welcomed the news, describing it as a "win-win" situation

“It will not only offer financial relief to educators but also promises to improve the quality of education through more personalised teaching methods," said Abdullah Hamdan, a maths teacher at the Zayed Education Complex in Sharjah.

“It’s a win-win situation for both teachers and pupils."

He believes that providing private lessons could generate an extra Dh2,000 per month, helping significantly with living expenses.

“This rule would address the issue of illegal private tutoring and curb the practice of unregulated teaching, which often leads to high fees," he said.

Public school rules

In 2019 teachers in government schools were allowed to offer private tutoring for the first time in a drive to improve standards.

Fawzia Gharab, assistant undersecretary for school operations at the Ministry of Education, told The National at the time that the authority would license teachers to offer one-on-one lessons.

Public school teachers were able to register to take part and would be financially rewarded for doing so by the ministry. They were also told they would not be able to provide tutoring for pupils at their own schools.

The scheme applied only to public schools and was not being offered in private schools at the time.

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Updated: December 19, 2023, 12:51 PM