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The matter was discussed at a meeting the Minister of Education, Dr Ali Abdul Al Aziz Al Sharahan, held with the human resources commission which presented a number of proposals to deal with the problem.
The commission suggested a deduction of 25 per cent from the end-of-service benefits of teachers seeking early retirement, but the proposal was rejected because of difficulties to be faced in its implementation without a provision in the law to that effect.
The cabinet recently authorised the minister of education to accept or reject a resignation.
Awatef Al Umishi, Director of the Human Resources Department of the ministry, told the Khaleej Times that 497 teachers had resigned last year. Among them, 132 were national teachers (Five men and 127 women).
She sad that all departments had been ordered to stop accepting any new application for retirement or resignation.
Most of those who had submitted their resignations had completed nearly 10 years of service.
The official said: "I think the main reason behind teachers leaving jobs are new career prospects and difficulties being faced in teaching. Freezing promotion is an additional reason behind resignations of laboratory staff, librarians and social workers.
Some of them resigned for post-graduate education and some were facing health problems."
Teachers having completed 15 to 20 years of service can retire for taking care of their children or for a change in career too join administrative service.
The teachers intending to quit are required to submit the resignation by a certain date.
For example, a teacher who joined the ministry on October 25, 1975, should submit the resignation by October 25, 2003.
It may be mentioned that in order to meet the situation arising out of sudden resignations, the ministry makes appointments from a waiting list.
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