Expat teachers, over 45 yrs, to be terminated

DUBAI — The Ministry of Education yesterday decided to terminate expatriate school teachers, who are more than 45 years old and have completed 25 years of service in UAE, provoking a sharp response from some quarters. Ali Maihad Al Suwaidi, assistant secretary in charge of human resources in the ministry, said he had asked the recruitment department to take the list of teachers in schools around the country who meet the criteria, even as a group of officials, including some educational zone directors, met the minister to plead against the decision.Justifying the decision, Al Suwaidi said the “efficiency of these teachers would not be up to the mark” after the long time they had been in service. According to him, regardless of their service record, he was sure their performance would not live up to expectations.

By Mohsen Rashid

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Published: Mon 27 Dec 2004, 10:48 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:36 PM

The decision came a week after Al Suwaidi had asked a recruitment panel meeting to take a count of the expatriate teachers more than 50 years old so as to retire them.

A ministry source, however, said the decision could create a major manpower vacuum for the country’s educational institutions. The head count of those more than 50 years old had shown 400 teachers would have to be retired. With the lowering of the age, the number could double, the source said.

The ministry would find it tough to raise the resources to fill these vacancies, the source said. It would also be difficult for it to justify the firing of many competent teachers denying their experience to the institutions.

The source also underscored the contradiction in the ministry’s decision to increase the retiring age of school inspectors to 65 even while terminating teachers older than 45.

Some educational zone directors and school managements reacted sharply to the decision saying the policy laid down by the former education minister would throw the institutions haywire.

Their delegation urged the minister to intervene and reverse the decision, saying the replacements to the competent and experienced teachers available would be new to the UAE syllabus, affecting the institutions’ efficiency.

Several decisions made during this academic year like banning the appointment of pregnant teachers, confining recruitment to holders of university graduate degrees with excellent grades and cancelling written examination to job applicants had affected the schools, the source pointed out.

These decisions had created vacancies that could not be easily filled forcing the ministry to reinstate the sacked employees, according to the source.

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