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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Research “P”: Why our children go to tutoring

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At one time, tutoring was a supportive and supportive tool for children with learning disabilities, deficiencies and gaps. Today, it is the substitute for school. Young children, six and seven years old, run from one tutorial to another. English lessons from the 1st grade! And, at the same time, a study on a daily basis for reading the lessons that are “loaded” from school to home. As the class goes up the demands (?) On remedial courses increase. Second and third foreign language, mathematics, Greek, physics, chemistry and whatever other examined subject is in the syllabus. In the last grades of high school the situation, as described by the students themselves, is tragic. School and then… second school. And the parents in a state of nervous crisis. At the wheel all afternoon, clogged in traffic, they run to catch up. Stress for the whole family at its zenith. Rest time, non-existent! The pocket… leave.

Hand deep in the pocket

 But how much does tutoring cost parents? Prices vary from province to province and are determined according to the level of education. Tutoring centers operating in the same city do not have a large difference in charges. Except for some cases (shaky names of teachers) who, due to high demand, charge astronomical sums for “private” lessons. “P” contacted more than ten parents whose children attend public elementary, high school and lyceum. From everything they have mentioned we find the following:

– Most children between the ages of six and seven (first and second grade) start private lessons in English. But in addition to the foreign language, many children go to the study to του read school lessons. The prices of the studios range from 120 to 170 per month. As far as English lessons are concerned, they are charged from 50 to 70 euros per month, in the first three levels.

– The transition from elementary school to high school is not an easy task, for the majority of students / three. Knowing the difficulties, before the children even set foot in high school, they enroll them in support classes. Usually, high school children, other than English, attend supportive math classes. Some in Greek. The prices for the English lesson for a child who goes to the first high school range from 80 to 90 euros while they increase from 10 to 15 euros every year. For math in a class of six children, the charge is about 70 euros per month. When there are fewer students in a class, then the price goes up to 100 euros per month. The charge for the Greek course or other supplementary course (eg biology) is calculated in the same way. Prices rise rapidly when a parent chooses private lessons for their child (1: 1). In this case the prices are usually calculated per hour and range from 15 to 20 euros. If we calculate that a 1: 1 course is held twice a week then the parent is required to pay from 120 to 160 euros per month.

It is noted that most high school children start private lessons in Informatics to obtain specific certificates of knowledge. Charging less than 100 euros per month is very difficult to find in the market. And the prices go up year by year.

– In high school and especially in the last class the charges go up. The children, especially in the 3rd lyceum, are supported in all the courses that will be examined (4 or 5 in number) with the aim of their admission to the university. Usually, the classes are small (2 or 3 students) and the charge reaches 200 euros per month, in Nicosia. In other provinces the prices are a little lower, around 150 euros per month. In cases where the lesson is given to a single student, the charge reaches 30 euros per hour, in some cases (individual) they reach 40 euros. In high school, students are usually at the last level of English (IGCSE). The charge reaches about 150 euros. In both the A 'lyceum and the B' lyceum the students choose courses of the direction they have chosen in the school and are reinforced in two to three of them, mainly because they face or believe that they will face difficulties. The charge of 15-20 euros for “private” courses also applies in this case. The price for remedial teaching in a group of 3-4 people ranges from 100 to 130 euros per month.

It became fashionable

 In Cyprus, however, there is another “fashion” that ends up again in the tutoring courses. Children who wish to attend a private school begin preparation for the examined courses (mathematics, Greek) from the last two grades of primary school. The charge is 13-15 euros per hour and usually the lessons are done two to three times a week.

With the vast majority of students / three going to tutoring, even when they are excellent in their performance, the reasonable question arises: Are remedial courses a fashion of the time or a real need arising from the bad's of our education system? The views of those directly involved (teachers, students, parents) coincide: For some students they are a real need for others a trend!

The president of the organized parents of secondary education, Kyriakos Nikiforou, answering the crucial question if the tutoring center is a necessity today, states that the truth is somewhere in the middle. “It is both a necessity and a habit,” he says, adding that in many cases the situation is exaggerated. He recognizes the “pathogenesis” of the education system which have a serious impact on children's learning and as he states the public school needs to be radically changed so that children acquire useful knowledge and develop critical thinking. But it is not only the education system that needs to change but also our mentality. “We see excellent people running in tutoring. Why; It's a habit; “Is it fashionable?” He wonders. He does not hesitate to say that private tutoring has failed to achieve its goals. Indicatively, it refers to the results of the pan-Cypriot examinations, which year by year are even more disappointing. All children, with few exceptions, in the third grade of high school attend support classes but the results do not improve, he says. As for the amount that a household spends on the tutoring of its child “it is unbearable”, as he characteristically notes. From 500 to 800 euros the parent is required to pay per month for the… “afternoon” school of his child. A salary, in simple words, goes to tutoring.

They excel without tutoring

The teachers themselves, however, understand and understand why in some cases the student needs the tutoring. The president of the teachers' organization Costas Hadjisavvas notes that the level of curricula for each subject is very high and therefore children need time to consolidate the material which is very bulky and the teacher necessarily “runs” to catch it. Therefore, he says, children to understand the lesson ask for a second chance of teaching through the tutorial. However, there is the other side of the coin, according to Mr. Hadjisavvas. “We see our students who are excellent in their performance go to tutoring. “This happens either because they are carried away by the current or because they always seek perfection,” he explains. He points out that teachers in Cyprus are among the most qualified in all of Europe and this is proven by several children who excel or take first place in the pan-Cypriot exams without even attending remedial courses. Finally, he expressed the view that “the Ministry of Education should seriously address this issue by conducting a large-scale survey to determine what pushes students to the tutoring center so that it can take all necessary measures to stop this type of para-education “.

Panagiotis Georgiou is the president of the organized students. He does not attend support classes, but he knows first hand the suffering of his friends and classmates who run to the tutoring center every day, in the afternoons. Especially for seniors, he says, tutoring is the rule! What is wrong with the students? The material. In terms of quantity and quality. Unfortunately, he says, the flow of students to the tutoring center proves the failure of our education system. It would not be an exaggeration, he adds, to say that about 80% of students / three attend support classes. Because, he explains, the material must be consolidated and in the context of the teaching time that exists, this is impossible. As for tuition, he says that in some cases it is to keep one's mouth open. Two hundred euros a month, many times more, for a single lesson! “You realize that there are households that spend an entire salary on their child's tutoring,” he notes. But he also emphasizes the following important: “The pressing program of children today turns them into perfect robots. We forget what it is like to be children and teenagers. We do not have time to socialize, to deal with the commons, we do not live the most beautiful phase of our lives… “. That is why, he says, we insist and fight for a people-centered school.

And ανάγκες artificial needs

“The tutoring center covers real and artificial needs,” says Apostolos Psaras, president of the Private Tutoring Association, adding, however, that most children need remedial lessons because they cannot consolidate the material. Initially, he says, the tutorial was created for children who were interested in international exams or for “weak” students who really needed private lessons. Today, however, we see that more and more students choose to be supplemented with additional classes in the afternoons. This, he says, is probably due to the crazy rhythms of everyday life. Parents work late into the afternoon and tutoring is a way out to make sure their children are consolidating their lessons. Asked to comment if the choice of tutoring is also an option for excellent students, he answers in the affirmative. And these students have questions, questions. At the tutorial they solve them and they are even more confident about their performance. Mr. Psaras invites parents to choose tuition centers approved by the Ministry of Education. It is, as he states, the most effective way to radically beat para-education. At the same time, parents choosing a tutorial that goes through a “sieve” know that the level of knowledge offered is the required while they feel confident that their child is in a safe and pleasant place with qualified teachers who deal with him at the base. of his unique needs. However, according to Mr. Psaras, there is no increase in registrations due to the implementation of the exams every four months. Regarding the prices, the president of the tuition centers states that they vary depending on the course, the level of education but also the. Province. In Nicosia, for example, tuition is more expensive than in other cities.

Source: politis.com.cy

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