- Benefits of a Private Tutor Association
- The boom of Private Tutorship
- Is a Professional Tutoring Association Achievable in Nigeria?
- Is Academic Qualification a Criterion for Joining a Tutoring Association?
- Does the Industry Need a New Association?
- Present State of Private Tutoring and Association
- Will Tutors Choose to Join the Association?
The National Association for Private School Teachers (NAFPST) and the Private Schools Teachers Association of Nigeria (PSTAN) is a group of private tutors and private school owners that offers services to students and tutors which is different from the public school environment.
The aim of this private tutors association in Nigeria is to develop industry-standard, rules, policies and process of improving the consistency of the private tutoring market.
Other aims and objectives of these associations include
- To promote and fight for the warfare of the private tutors in Nigeria.
- To ensure that private schools and private individuals follow laid down rules in employing and dismissing private school teachers.
- Ensure that private schools owners remit the pensions deducted from the teachers' salaries to the pension trust funds
- Conduct regular and timely training for registered members of the association
These associations are not legally binding and not compulsory for all private teachers as it is not a government-regulated association.
Benefits of a Private Tutor Association
The benefit of setting up a legally binding private tutor association in Nigeria is important as it helps to regulate the actions and inactions of the tutors. From our position, we believe that a professional association of private tutor in Nigeria include
- Becoming a part of a government recognized professional body
- Opportunity to network with individuals from the same profession
- Gain recognition as a result of the fact that you have signed up to a recognized code of professional ethics and practice
- Members are opportune to stand for election to help shape the future of both the online tutoring jobs and in-home tutoring profession
- Opportunity for members to participate in special activities such as the writing of blogs and guest speaker slots in schools
- Opportunity for members to share ideas, ask questions and encourage each other in their different social media platforms such as on Facebook and Twitter.
- Association of this kind helps in monitoring and regulating the quality of tuition that tutors offer.
The boom of Private Tutorship
A recent survey has shown some of the reasons that exist for the boom in the number of private tutors presently in Nigeria. Some of the reasons include
- Parental Engagement
Since most parents in Nigeria are fully engaged in works that take their time from 7:30 am and often close around 4:00 to 5:00 pm, there is a need for someone to take care of the children and help them with their home works or assignments from school.
In capital cities like Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt where closing time for workers may be longer than 5:00 pm and also as a result of traffic hold-up which might make them get home around 7.00 pm or 9:00 pm.
There is a need to arrange a tutorial venue or engagement with either a private tutor or an evening lesson sessions for the kids. This arrangement enables the students to move from their regular schools to the privately arranged tutorial classes until their parents are back from their workplace.
- Students Academic Deficiency
Every child is not expected to be equal in academic prowls as some are academically weak when compared to their peers. These tend to necessitate the need for a private tutor that will give a sort of academic assistance to the students.
Also, a child might be intelligent but is preparing for a specialized examination that will require the services of a personalized tutor.
- Poor Remuneration for Teachers
Most teachers in conventional schools in Nigeria are either not paid as of when due or are underpaid. These have led most private school teachers to look for other sources of income.
The involvement in private tutoring services offers them an untaxed income opportunity. Most of these teachers are often contracted by the parents of their students to ensure that the children do well in class.
This tends to spur them to go into private tutoring services as a part-time job.
- High Rate of Unemployment
The last reason for the high boom in the private tutoring services in Nigeria is the high rate of unemployment for most graduate and individuals just completing their NYSC programs.
Since the process of entering the private tutorial industry is not regulated with no legal requirement, an individual with the necessary skill can easily join any tutoring agency such as Superprof or start-up they own private tutoring services or centers.
Is a Professional Tutoring Association Achievable in Nigeria?
Not minding the unique importance of forming professional tutoring associations in Nigeria, there are still some thorny issues that are inherent in forming an all-inclusive private tutoring association in Nigeria.
As posited by Amos Okwuakunwa, he noted that it might not be feasible for one professional body to accommodate both individual private membership and membership options for tutoring platforms and agencies.
These thorny issue steam from the area of standards. There is always an issue of maintaining a giving standard in the industry since every tuition agency has its unique methods of maintaining a given standard.
An example involves the different ways in which different tutoring agencies conduct interviews; their minimum stipulated qualifications in becoming a tutor, the ability to monitor the tutor performance and how the tutors are trained.
To buttress this point, a tutoring agency in Nigeria stated that one of their best tutors is a school leaver with no degree or any teaching jobs qualification.
Another issue is the ability to maintain standards among freelancers plying their trades with different tutoring freelancing platforms littered around in Nigeria and the world in general.
Will these freelancers be compelled to hold any certification or qualification before offering their services to their clients? However, these measures do not in themselves identify a good tutor.
Is Academic Qualification a Criterion for Joining a Tutoring Association?
Most practitioners are divided on the issue of whether a private tutor is expected to hold a university certificate or not?
A survey conducted shows that 71% of the respondent believed that private tutors holding a degree might exclude experience and quality tutors from the association and the chance for them to impact their knowledge on those that might need their services.
69% stated that asking private tutors teaching children over the age of 11 to have subject-specific degrees might be impossible and inflexible to achieve.
This is a great position as delimiting individuals without academic qualification will end up excluding quality tutors that would be entering the association. University degrees should never be a standard to become a professional private tutor and coach.
Does the Industry Need a New Association?
As it relates to the tutoring environment, most individuals are of the opinion that the private tutoring industry of Nigeria is fully ready for the setting up of a government-regulated body that will manage the affairs and payment of practicing tutors in Nigeria.
This is as a result of the underpayment of most private tutors in Nigeria. A research conducted shows that 62% of respondents think that there is a need for setting up a professional association that will help to set and maintain industry standards.
While 56% of the respondents believed that setting up a fully regulated association would ensure higher standards and the quality of tuition services offered to students.
These tutor association will help to establish quality standards, provision of balanced information to the public about tutoring and setting up a code of conduct for all its members.
The association can also maintain an industry-standard by running a complaints handling and disciplinary process for all its members.
Present State of Private Tutoring and Association
In today’s age and technology, both evening and holiday period have now been hijacked as a result of student’s involvement in one private tutoring or the other. In our present age, most tutors are parents who are looking for ways to earn extra income to their regular incomes.
Private tutoring services are seen as extra coaching in academic and examinable subjects that are given to the students outside the school hours for some financial remuneration.
The coaching sessions are expected to take place in different locations. These could be in the teachers home, the school premises, the pupil's homes or even private tutoring centers.
The timing for private tutoring sessions could be after school, during holidays or by weekends. Private tutoring services in Nigeria are now available for almost every subject that is taught in all conventional schools.
Presently, the most popular subjects been taught by most private tutors in Nigeria are Mathematics and English since they are compulsory for all entrance examination.
With a legalized and regulated tutor association in Nigeria, the influx of people entering the teaching profession can be regulated, and only the right calibers of tutors will remain.
Will Tutors Choose to Join the Association?
Most tutors might not be eager to join the association as a result of the strict specification needed to join the tutor association.
Also, others might be skeptical as a result of the financial commitments that are required of every member either monthly or annually. Since most people pursue tutoring jobs on a part-time basis and might not be earning huge amount of cash from the tutoring service, it might be difficult for them to cough out a couple of naira as registration and membership fees.
But it is expected that things will change in the passage of years as members of the group begin to earn higher hourly wages in which case it would be an economic benefit to sign up.
In conclusion, there is a reasonable chance that setting up a regulated private tutor association will get off the ground, but the networking opportunities that the association may offer the individual tutor, it can also result in better quality tutoring, which is ultimately what we all want to see.