UK school outsources Math lessons from Punjab

A school in UK has become the first to outsource its teaching to India where around 100 tutors from Punjab will give one-to-one lessons to 11-year olds who have fallen behind in Maths.

Last Updated: Sep 10, 2010, 21:52 PM IST

London: A school in UK has become the first
to outsource its teaching to India where around 100 tutors
from Punjab will give one-to-one lessons to 11-year olds who
have fallen behind in Maths.

Ashmount Primary in north London has become the first
school to avail this service called BrightSpark Education,
started by set up by UK-based entrepreneur Tom Hooper.

The 6 standard pupils of the school, are provided with a
headset log while they log on to a website to have an on
screen interaction with the teacher. It costs the school 12 pounds
per hour per pupil compared with about 40 pounds for private tutors
in the capital.

The tutors, all Maths graduates with teaching experience
are employed on a full time basis and each one undergoes
security checks.

"I was a tutor myself to make a bit of extra money when I
was at university and after I graduated... But paying for
additional tuition can be very expensive, in London you can be
spending up to 40 pounds an hour," Hooper said.

"It just seemed to make sense when I thought of providing
live learning online, which could be flexible and engaging."

All tutors are trained in English maths curriculum and
the service can be tailored to each child as the teacher sees
fit. The teacher are paid 7 pounds an hour.

Ashmount assistant head teacher Rebecca Stacey told a daily supplement that the pupils` understanding of
the subject has improved significantly after using the
service.

"We try to keep every pupil with the same tutor. The kids
really enjoy it. It is a different way of approaching the
subject with children who might find it harder to engage with
maths," Stacey told the newspaper.

She added that the school was approached by the agency to
use this service on a pilot-project basis but after receiving
the positive response from the students the school is likely
to roll it out to the 4th and 5the standard students.

Although outsourcing office work in the subcontinent by
private sector is not new but this experimentation in teaching
field is believed to have been carried out for first time.

However, director of London University`s Institute of
Education Dylan Wiliam cautioned that such a system had its
own dangers. "It will depend on how good their (tutors)
English is... They will also need to understand cultural
conventions of this country," he said.

There is a shortage of Maths tutors in UK. Maths
graduates are offered 5000 pounds for postgraduate teacher
training courses. While UK had some 5,980 maths graduate last
year in India their number was around 690,000.

-PTI