Private tutoring sans authorisation illegal

MUSCAT, Sept 1 – The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Manpower have termed illegal offering of academic classes privately, mostly at home, without any authorisation. “Conducting parallel academic classes comes under prohibited category. Any commercial activity in education without validation from the competent authorities is illegal,” said a senior official at the Ministry of Education. The official, however, said “students gathering at a house or an elderly person helping many children study does not come under purview of commercial tutorials without valid documentation”.
He said the ministry is in the process of drafting a report on private tutorials. “It’s too early to announce it at this point of time.”
Many teachers in Oman are said to have tutorials at home, earning several times more than what they are paid by schools. It is said some teachers who live near schools accommodate nearly 200-300 students in different batches, charging a minimum of RO 50 per student.
Complaints of favouritism have been levelled against these teachers by some parents.
According to parents, these teachers pay less attention in the regular classroom sessions and these authorised educational institutions, which meet all requirements, suffer as children prefer home tuitions.
“It’s morally and ethically unbecoming of a teacher if he/she provides individual attention to his/her school students for a remuneration,” said a circular from Indian Schools Board of Directors.
“We, therefore, advise all principals to ensure that teachers from their respective schools, right from kindergarten to Class 12, are not engaged in private tuitions or private teaching activities with immediate effect,” said the circular, signed by M P Vinoba, Educational Adviser of the board of directors that governs all Indian schools, including the largest community school.
A senior official at the Ministry of Manpower said any commercial activity carried out without valid documentation from competent authorities is illegal and is a punishable offence as per the labour law.
“Carrying out commercial activity beyond the job specified in the residence permit is illegal as per the law of the land. Conducting academic classes without valid licence and other necessary documentation from Ministry of Education and Ministry of Commerce and Industry and other authorities concerned is an offence and the Ministry of Education considers this very seriously,” he said.
“We conduct periodic raids at erring institutions and any complaint raised against any activity will be subject to scanner,” he added.
“We discourage our teachers from conducting private classes during their free time and it is a matter of our policy,” said the president of a leading school’s management committee.

KABEER YOUSUF