United Kingdom

The UK tutoring system uses children under the age of 18 in Sri Lanka and pays only £ 1.57 per hour.school

Tutor Sri Lanka is used by the government’s major national education program to teach mathematics to underprivileged primary school children in the UK at the young age of 17 and earning only £ 1.57 per hour. I learned that.

After discussing the revelation, the Ministry of Education announced that it would immediately stop using the £ 350 million National Tutor Program (NTP) as a tutor under the age of 18, and will be based overseas next year. Promised to review the use of tutors to put. ..

Critics condemned another example of government outsourcing assistance and services in a pandemic response, and the funds that are part of the £ 1.7 billion catch-up fund announced last year were sent directly to schools to tutor their own tutors. Should have been procured. Through the complex system of private providers.

Mary Bousted, co-secretary of the National Education Union, said: “First of all, the question is whether it is ethical to outsource this way and pay £ 1.57 to £ 3.07 per hour. It is also why this money is not for the purpose of life to be profitable. It raises a bigger question as to whether it is being paid to the private sector. “

A catch-up fund to help tackle learning losses during a pandemic was announced last year after all students, except the most vulnerable students and the children of key workers, closed their classrooms in large numbers.

Sri Lanka-based tutors were offered through Third Space Learning (TSL), one of 33 lesson providers approved by NTP to offer one-on-one and small group lessons.

An NTP spokesperson said the Guardian TSL is “one of the most popular providers” and has supported more than 800 schools since the program started in November, with positive testimony from school leaders. Said it was posted on the website.

According to a Guardian survey, the minimum age requirement for TSL, which works with one tutoring center in Sri Lanka and two partner centers in India, is 17 years and the tuition fee is equivalent to 425 Sri Lankan rupees. Rise to £ 1.57, average £ 3.07.

£ 350m National Guidance Program We promise high quality subsidized tuition fees for underprivileged children. Schools can choose from approved tuition partners and pay 25% of the cost while the government receives the remaining invoices.

Tom Hooper, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TSL, said: “Using tutoring in India and Sri Lanka is part of a solution that makes tutoring accessible to children with disadvantaged backgrounds. They are all stems. [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] After graduating, you will receive training and ongoing professional development supervised by a team of UK-based teachers. “

After facing details from the website of Third Space Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of TSL in Sri Lanka, Hooper corrected himself and said the tutor was actually a mix of graduates and undergraduates. When asked about the minimum qualifications to apply in the FAQ on the Third Space Global website, it says, “You must be proficient in math and English and pass your first online test.” Another question – “Why is the payment only Rs 425?” – Seems to have been deleted.

According to Hooper, the minimum wage per booked session was £ 1.57, regardless of whether the session was held or canceled, while the average wage was £ 3.07 per hour, a “estimated equivalent graduate school” in Sri Lanka. 2.5 times the salary. ” “It’s also 15 times the minimum wage in Sri Lanka, but it clearly maintains a much higher standard,” he said.

Of the minimum wage of £ 1.57 per session, Hooper added: “This guarantees the tutor’s lowest and predictable income. This is clearly important.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Education said: “We set high standards for our national tutoring program and feel free to take action if it becomes clear that those standards are not met.

“Third Space is currently discontinuing the use of people under the age of 18 as tutors in the program. Strict and ongoing monitoring of all organizations involved in the program ensures the quality of tutoring. We have confirmed that it is expensive. ”The ministry confirmed that three 17-year-old undergraduate tutors were employed.

According to Hooper National Guidance Program The cost is £ 18.33, of which £ 9.50 is paid for program design, customer support, technology and finance in the London office, £ 5.36 for tutor training and development in the Colombo office, and the average cost per tutor per session. Is 3.07 pounds. According to Hooper, the company makes a 2% profit on each NTP session, which is equivalent to 40p.

“Our tutoring model is supported by NTP and is detailed in our proposal to participate in the NTP program,” Hooper said, with an average age of 24 for his tutor. did.

The Ministry of Education requires tutor providers to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, to pay tutors fairly, to ensure that tutor qualifications have high minimum standards He said he needed to be warned to intervene if the criteria were not met.

Since 2013, TSL has offered online lesson sessions with tutors from India and Sri Lanka, working with more than 75,000 children in 2,500 English State Primary Schools.

An NTP spokesperson said: All teachers receive continuous professional development, frequent lesson evaluations, and personalized feedback. “

The UK tutoring system uses children under the age of 18 in Sri Lanka and pays only £ 1.57 per hour.school

Source The UK tutoring system uses children under the age of 18 in Sri Lanka and pays only £ 1.57 per hour.school

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