Principal, teachers in trouble for airing grievances on TV

DUBAI — The principal of a school was transferred for hosting a show that discussed the issue of teachers not being promoted for the past 20 years.

By Mohsen Rashid

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Published: Tue 27 Dec 2005, 10:02 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:25 PM

The head of the Fujairah Educational Zone referred the principal of Al Bahr Elementary School for Girls and two teachers for investigation, on the charge of inviting Dubai TV (Emirates News team) to their school on the 28th of November to meet a number of diploma holder teachers, who work in the Fujairah Educational Zone and the Sharjah Educational Office.

The meeting was aired on the Dubai TV channel, which angered the zone’s administration and MoE authorities. Details in City Times

The MoE then ordered for an investigation into the issue to punish the show’s hosts. This withdrawal of freedom of opinion from the administration of the educational zone and some MoE officials came at the same time when the Education Minister, Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan emphasised the role of the media and expressed his thoughts about the importance of an open and transparent relationship between the administration and the schools.

City Times was able to obtain a copy of the investigation minutes and letters between the zone’s administration and MoE authorities. The show on the Dubai TV was regarding promotions, which had stopped for more than 20 years. Because the MoE stopped their right to earn a promotion, they didn’t have any option but to bring their case to the public through ‘Emirates News’ demanding either promotions or transferring them to administrative positions.

Both the principal and the teachers of Al Bahr School (Fujairah), who are facing investigations now, said that they didn’t commit any crime by inviting Dubai TV and voicing their grievances, especially after MoE officials refused to listen to them and be fair throughout the long period. They also said in the investigation that they did not neglect contacting the educational zone’s administration to obtain its approval on the matter of hosting the ‘Emirates News’ crew, and the zone’s Deputy Director Salih Sulaiman told them that it’s their personal matter and the zone did not mind them voicing their problem.

However, Dr Jamal Al Meheiry, the MoE Under-secretary, and other MoE officials considered the act of the principal and the teachers a clear violation, especially since Emirates News addressed some questions to Ali Mehad Al Sewaidy, putting him in an embarrassing situation. Dr Jamal Al Meheiry ordered the disciplinary transfer for the principal to the Sharjah Educational Zone, according to the recommendations of Jum’a Khalfan Al Kendy (Head of the Fujairah Educational Zone), who considered the act of the teachers a waste of a school day and not serving the education process, as mentioned in his letter. He added that the issue brought by the teachers about the suspension of their promotions for years, does worry the zone administration and the MoE.

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