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Opinion

APP
May 27, 2016
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After school tutoring is like child abuse, researchers

After school tutoring is like child abuse, researchers

ISLAMABAD: Sending pupils to private tutors for up to two hours after school is tantamount to child abuse according to researchers.

Many pushy parents are making their children miserable by subjecting them to academic coaching in the evening, said Gail Larkin president of the National Association of Head Teachers.

She said large numbers of parents succumbed to the pressure of the playground parliament groups of ambitious mothers congregating outside school by giving children as young as five unnecessary extra tuition.

Mrs Larkin leveled particular criticism towards Explore Learning the tutoring company that has opened branches in shopping centres high street sand Sainsbury’s stores, the guardian reported.

The development had normalised after school and weekend tuition making it more socially acceptable for parents she said.

But it was claimed that most children would get more benefit from everyday activities such as swimming Scouts football ballet classes or simply being given time to play in the park.

The comments will reignite the debate over the private tutoring industry which has boomed in popularity over the last decade.

One study last year suggested a quarter of parents now paid for tuition up from 18 per cent just five years earlier usually in preparation for school entrance exams.

Mrs Larkin criticised parents who dropped their children into branches of Explore Learning in the evening or at the weekend while they shop.

She described the process as torture adding the parents think they are doing something really worthwhile I think it is child abuse.

We went into Sainsbury s the other afternoon.

When we came out about 4o clock it was full up with kids who had spent a day in school.

Straight out of school straight in there.

But Bill Mills the chief executive of Explore Learning rejected the claims insisting a university led evaluation of the company had found its tuition was beneficial to both boys and girls of all abilities with improvements in their confidence levels.

Explore succeeds best when it not only helps children directly but also helps them to thrive at school he said.

It is not just or even mainly academic progress that matters most but also the personal development of children including gains in confidence enthusiasm for learning and self esteem.

Pressure plays no part in what we do.

Children generally see themselves as coming to a club and the motivation for joining comes from them as much as it does from their parents.

The pressure comes from each other the playground parliament I call it, she said.

Parents think they have to do it because all of the others are doing it.

She added these parents used to come to me at school and say do you think I m a bad parent.

She insisted parents should play a larger part in educating their children in the home even if they lead busy lives.

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