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The percentage of the UAE officers has reached 49.92 per cent of the total number of the workforce in the government sector.
The increase in number of Emiratis in the government sector is part of a plan introduced by the UAE Cabinet which laid much emphasis on the issue of emiratisation to provide job opportunities to the nationals in different work sectors. The cabinet wanted to tackle the shortage of the UAE workers in the government establishments.
The Council of Ministers had made plans many years ago for progressively achieving emiratisation of the workforce in various sectors, and has chosen the Ministry of Education (MoE) as the subject sample of study as it is one of the ministries which offers a number of services to the society besides having a large number of the government officers in the UAE. This has been noted in a detailed report of the concerned unit at the MoE.
Actually, some ministries witnessed high rates of emiratisation, especially the MoE. The MoE had suggested an emiratisation plan for the 2003-2008 period.
This report revealed that the number of the MoE officers reached 35,477 of the total number of the government officers, which was estimated at 57,843 in 1998. The MoE officers formed 61.3 per cent of the total number of government officers in the UAE.
The officials realised that emiratisation should be in fact not just a slogan, but a mechanism that should be adopted to achieve the induction of more UAE nationals under a strategic plan within a time frame.
All efforts of the ministers and senior officials of both local and federal authorities were unified in coordination with the Civil Service Council and the Civil Service Department in order to implement the emiratisation plan according to a time schedule which was limited to five years in the short-term and seven years in the medium-term.
These plans or programmes were aimed at training the UAE nationals to facilitate their rehabilitation in different departments in order to be appointed to several positions. About Dh40 million was allocated to implement such an emiratisation plan.
Around 1,591 UAE university graduates of different departments, 171 UAE holders of the diploma of higher technical college, 733 general secondary certificate holders and 226 preliminary holders out of 2.761 UAE graduates were registered in the Civil Service Department awaiting a job opportunity, the report stated.
Consequently, the officials started studying the needs of the labour market so as to focus on the academic and professional requirements needed for the real jobs to reduce the number of the UAE unemployed.
Increasing the rate of the emiratisation of teachers, directors and administrators to 90 per cent of the total number of the workforce, was one the aims of the MoE.
There has been a lesser rise in the emiratisation process for the males compared to females whose numbers have noticeably increased in the different jobs.
A high rate of recruitment of principals and assistant principals was mostly achieved in the administrative positions. The percentage of the UAE principals reached 72 per cent in 2001-2002 and 94.6 per cent for the position of assistant principals.
As for the other assistant administrative positions like social worker, secretary, librarian and others, UAE female personnel achieved the highest rate compared to the male.
The position of a lab supervisor achieved low rate in the emiratisation process — 2.5 per cent for the male and 60.6 per cent for the female. There are many reasons that affect the position of a lab supervisor, the first reason being the lack of financial support from the ministry to raise the percentage of the emiratisation for the assistants. The second reason is the reduction in the number of male workers who can secure a good salary in other jobs rather than the educational one.
The emiratisation percentage of males accounted for 133 per cent in 2001-2002 and the percentage for the females reached 63.3 which is considerably a high rate for the female.
The MoE statistics pointed out that the number of UAE male officers, who work in the field of education, reached 1,558 in 2002-2003.
That increase, which is estimated at 123 UAE nationals compared to the last year, is considered high. The reason for such rise is that the officials of MoE started allocating a budget for recruiting UAE nationals to ensure that they were satisfied with their salaries which led to a big increase in the number of the male UAE nationals who joined the position of teacher. The increase in the number of the UAE teachers, administrators and technicians was outstanding.
In 1992-1993, the number of UAE workforce was 7,129 for both male and female and reached 11,966 officers in 2001-2002, recording a 40 per cent rise.
The MoE achieved a large increase in the number of the UAE officers in 1998-1999, which reached 686 people in addition to 803 people in 1999-2000.
Implementing the project of recruiting female officers only as teachers, technicians and administrators in the primary schools for boys, was the reason for increasing the emiratisation rate during the ten years. There was a practice of recruiting women only at the primary schools because they have qualities of mercy, love and patience which helps them deal with children in a gentle way.
The trend of appointing female officers has succeeded in the Arab countries, but has been implemented partially in the UAE. Recruiting women to different positions in the primary schools was one of the trials launched by the Ministry of Education and Youth which goes back to 1982-1983 when the MoE appointed women at some of the primary schools.
The ministerial decree No. 1444/2 of 1998 dated 4/6/1998, pertaining to the recruitment of women as administrators or teachers in the primary schools, was issued with the aim to appoint a large number of female graduates in order to carry out the emiratisation of the educational system. This project of recruiting women was officially implemented in 1998-1999 in two stages. The first stage was implemented in 18 primary boys schools from grade 1 up to 5 in several educational zones.
The emiratisation figures increased recently. The number of the UAE male and female nationals reached 12,363 officers in 2002-2003 compared to the academic year 2001-2002 when the figure was 11,966.
One of the important reasons that prompted the MoE to adopt such a project is the reluctance of the GCC youth, especially the UAE male youth, to join the jobs related to education.
Consequently, this phenomenon prompted the MoE to search for an alternative solution to make use of a large number of the UAE female university graduates who are able to work as teachers in the primary schools.
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