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How to select Online Tutor in UAE & Qatar?

How to select Online Tutor in UAE & Qatar?
How to select Online Tutor in UAE & Qatar?

UAE and Qatar are two unique educational locations of the world. With over 90% of the population constituting of expatriates from all over the world – the educational requirements are equally diversified.

The UAE is leading the charge for international schools, boasting an increase to 624 from 596 in 2017. Saudi Arabia is next with 257 followed by Qatar with 166.

The United Arab Emirates continues to be the leader in the world in K-12 International schools with over 618,000 students enrolled, with nearly 45 % schools following the British curriculum.

Tutoring options

According to some estimates, nearly 70% of students in UAE are availing some form of academic assistance beyond school resources. The tutoring options range from attending a tutoring academy, home tutor and now ever growing: online tutoring.

But unlike United States & United Kingdom markets where significant percentage of the online tutors are themselves based in those countries, here the phenomenon is more of cross continental nature. This has its own advantages & challenges.

Online tutoring advantages

Major advantage of online tutoring is that you can get experienced tutors from across the globe e.g. A Levels Biology tutor, or IGCSE Edexcel Mathematics tutor. Such experienced tutors may not be available locally in large numbers. Other major advantage is that of cost, where as qualified local tutors in UAE may charge somewhere between AED 90-AED 150/ hour an equally qualified online tutor would charge between AED 40-AED 70 / hour.

Other advantages include flexibility of timing & saving of transportation costs etc.

Online tutoring challenges

With all the above mentioned advantages the fact remains that finding an experienced effective online tutor is a challenge for parents & students in UAE & Qatar.

The biggest challenge for parents is to verify the credibility & competence of an online tutor especially as most tutors are continents away. As most of the individual tutors are on Skype it is very difficult for parents to distinguish between an experienced tutor and someone who is just trying to make extra bucks in an unemployment period.

Another issue many students in UAE & Qatar have faced during online tutoring sessions i.e. voice breaks. In case where the both student & tutor are writing on a white board the digital pen slips on writing or if documents are being shared then student is seeing one document & tutor is seeing an another. This is primarily on account of bandwidth squeeze.

Skype as a tutoring tool also has limitations. Digital pens cannot be used which are extremely useful especially when past examination papers are being taught.

Checklist for selecting online tutors
Has taught relevant curriculum e.g. Cambridge CIE British curriculum for at least 05 years
Utilizes the same text book/s as the student.
Has knowledge of different British examination boards e.g. Edexcel, Cambridge International, AQA
Is well versed with past examination papers for IGCSE & A-Levels or IB.
Maintains sets of worksheets or questions from different British /IB/ American curriculum text books to be provided as assignments.
Is able to undertake effective assessment of assignments & tests based on instructions & guidelines provided by the relevant examination board.
Soft accent of the online tutor should be an asset as most students studying in international schools in Middle East are used to native speaking teachers.
Tutors who themselves have studied the British curriculum would be best fit for tutoring students undertaking IGCSE & A-Levels.
Similarly, tutors tutoring for International Baccalaureate, would be most appropriate if they have undertaken IB diploma.
Tutors who utilize a online teaching platform like Cisco Webex, GoTo Meeting etc should be given preference over tutors on Skype.

For Parents looking for cost effective excellent online tutors the above check list can help shortlist the online tutoring options.

YES to all the questions in the check list should help in identifying the required online tutoring provider.