| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

After hours

Hiring a tutor to keep junior ahead of the game is popular in the UAE. But is it always necessary? Matt Lecuyer, director of Imagine Education talks tutorial tips

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What are the main reasons for enlisting the help of a tutor?
Tutors are needed when a child is behind in their learning and needs help in ‘catching up’, especially if they have joined a new school with a different curriculum or part way through a school year. Also tutoring is a great way for challenging those children who are ready to take their learning to the next level, another reason for enlisting a tutor would be to instill confidence in a child. Tutors shouldn’t be used because a child’s friends have tutors, they should be enlisted for valid reasons.

How do I find the right tutor for my child?
There are many tutors available in Dubai and the UAE. Your child’s class teacher may be able to help you find a tutor, and this is beneficial to the teacher and tutor as they can communicate openly and liaise with the learning of the individual child. Recommendations are also a perfect way to put you in touch with a tutor. Parents feel more comfortable knowing that the tutor visiting their child comes with a proven track record! Children should be happy with the tutor and vice versa.

Lots of other kids in my child’s class are getting tutors. Will my child fall behind their peers?
Absolutely not. Every child is different and every child learns at a different rate. If you are concerned about your child’s learning, contact the class teacher and ask them if they feel tutoring would benefit your child. If you do consider hiring a tutor, ask them what type of assessment they do and if they carry out a baseline assessment to ascertain the child’s current level and need for a tutor.

On average, how much time should be spent per week with a tutor?
It depends on the individual and their age. I am a firm believer that children should have a full range of activities in their learning and not just core school subjects. This includes after-school clubs, sports, family time and play. So depending on the child’s schedule one to two hours a week for primary children is enough per subject, and in secondary this can increase from two to four.

Approximately how much can you expect to pay for a term of additional tutoring?
The experience of the tutor and the age of the child plays a factor in costing. Group sessions can range from Dhs100-150 an hour, while one-on-one tutoring can start at Dhs180 hour and go right up to Dhs300 an hour for college students. Parents should never have to pay more than a half term of fees in advance. Most tutors and companies will charge per session.
For more information call 055 369 5642; www.imagine-education.com

By Matt Lecuyer
Time Out Dubai,

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