CYPRUS: Parents spending EUR 50 mln annually on after-school private lessons

Parents in Cyprus are spending Euros 50 mln a year for after-school private lessons for their children, with estimates saying Cypriot families are spending a whopping Euros 400-600 a month on tutoring for each child.

Phileleftheros daily said the state has collected Euros 1.4 mln in 2018 just in taxes from registered private institutions, with concerns building over the loss of state income to illegal or non-registered private tuition.

According to Phileleftheros, the Education Ministry and the police are working on finding ways to put a stop to the phenomenon with focus on institutions operating illegally.

The ministry appears to be particularly concerned as the majority of private lessons after school are carried out illegally by teachers employed in the state schooling system.

This means that state teachers are earning an undeclared and illegal second salary to teach what they should be doing in the classroom.

Current procedures see complaints filed with the Education Ministry forwarded to the police which undertakes the task of investigating the incidents and bringing perpetrators to justice. Private institutions offering lessons to students, sign an agreement specifying that they do not hire educators employed in the state sector.

Ministry sources quoted by the paper say that while the issue of extra-curricular tutoring concerns mainly high school students, the number of primary school kids taking private lessons is increasing.

Students are resorting to private lessons to better prepare for their finals and university entry exams, while others take private lessons to improve their grades.

The ministry has also at times expressed concerns over the quality of education offered by non-licensed institutions.

According to the Phileleftheros, Ministry of Education sources said the ever-growing tendency of parents to send their children for private tuition, increases the anxiety of pupils and deprives them of other everyday life activities necessary for their development such as playing sport and creative activities.

Source: The Financial Mirror