24 July 2007

Teachers drop tuition classes

The Star

SEREMBAN: Teachers at several tuition centres here have stopped conducting lessons following raids by state education officials in the past week.

Those conducting classes at their homes have also cancelled them for fear of being caught.

Several teachers called up The Star office here to express their unhappiness over the raids.

One said that although she only started conducting lessons less than three years ago and with fewer than 10 students, she was asked to declare her income for the past 10 years.

“This is not fair. At times, I had fewer than five students coming for classes,” said the teacher who claimed to be teaching in a primary school here.

It is learnt that officials from the private education unit would conduct surprise checks minutes before classes ended.

Another teacher said she failed to understand what the fuss was all about as none of her tuition students were from the school where she taught.

“I have not neglected my students in the school where I teach. Is it wrong for me to earn a little bit extra conducting classes on my own time?” she asked. “Such tactics will only deter us from giving our best in school,” she said.

It is learnt that these teachers did not get approval from the state education department to give tuition.

Teachers at several premier schools here were also visited by department officials over their tuition activities.

When contacted, state education director Datuk Mohd Yassin Mohd Yunus confirmed that department officials had begun conducting raids statewide.

“We only act when we get complaints. We want to make sure the teachers have sought our permission to do extra work,” he said, adding that the main targets were tuition centres set up without permits.

“We are not making it difficult for teachers to earn extra.

“But we have no choice but to act when we get complaints from parents that some teachers are more engrossed in promoting their tuition classes than teaching in school,” he said.

Teachers wishing to give tuition should submit documents, including their service records and timetables at their school and the tuition centre, before being given permission.

The Education Ministry rules also stipulate that they could only give a maximum of four hours' tuition a week.

They are also not encouraged to serve at centres more than 25km from their schools.

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