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Newly hired teachers get accommodation, visas

Olivia Olarte / 25 September 2010

The Abu Dhabi Education Council has assured the newly-hired teachers that all their woes would be resolved by the end of next week.

In a “catch-up session” with the more than 400 native English-speaking teachers in the Capital at Park Rotana, Youssef Al Marzouqi, ADEC’s General Services Senior Officer, announced that ADEC had allocated furnished accommodations in five hotel apartments in the Capital for them. For families, ADEC has two to three-bedroom units to choose from.

Al Marzouqi said hotel apartment keys could be handed-over during the weekend for those who wish to move in right away. Those who opt for unfurnished apartments has five days to move in after receiving their furniture allowance.

For those who wish to look for their own accommodation, Al Marzouqi has said they should submit their housing request form and quotation by Sunday.

“We are in a critical time frame now and we need to finalise your accommodation and visa,” he told the teachers who are part of 940 native English-speaking teachers recruited for the council’s new school model across the emirate.

At the meeting, ADEC had distributed the teachers’ passports with their residence visas, while ADEC’s official bank was on hand to assist those who have not opened their accounts yet.

The teachers previously complained about the slow processing of their visas and health insurance cards. Many have also expressed desire to move in to their own place.

Till Thursday, the teachers were being accommodated in star hotels in the Capital including the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Beach Rotana and the Intercontinental Hotel, fully-paid for by ADEC.

Noting the long time it took to process the visas, Al Marzouqi said ADEC was working with the relevant authorities to expedite the process and will issue health cards as soon as visas were finalised.

He added that ADEC would also assist them in securing their Emirates Identity Card. “We appreciate your patience; we are trying to make it easy and smoother for all of you because of the importance of our project. We’re working behind the scenes to get things done in a way that satisfies the teachers,” said Al Marzouqi.

“I have been living in Fairmont Hotel for the last three weeks, I know we need to stay in a hotel for a while but it’s getting expensive dining in the hotel. I look forward to cooking my own food,” said one teacher from the US who was happy with the good news.

Speaking to Khaleej Times after the meeting, Al Marzouqi said the teachers who moved into the furnished apartments should commit to staying there for a year.

“We’re giving them longer opportunity to select their own accommodation. It’s their decision, if they choose to stay then we can extend, but if they want to move out to another accommodation later on, they should notify us on the ninth month and submit a quotation,” he said. On the issue of transportation, Al Marzouqi said ADEC would provide only for those who are in remote areas in Al Ain and the Western Region.

Earlier, ADEC officials held similar meeting in Al Ain to pacify the teachers. ADEC will also hold a separate meeting next week for the teachers in Al Gharbiya to address their accommodation woes.               olivia@khaleejtimes.com

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