Teaching? No thanks, say national students

ABU DHABI — Young male nationals abhor teaching as a career, and any talk about this noble profession only draws caustic comments like "non-challenging work atmosphere, unexciting growth prospects and an unattractive package to top it all."

By Anjana Sankar

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Published: Sun 10 Apr 2005, 10:32 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:59 PM

The fact that there are not even a handful of national male teachers working in the country's schools should not come as a surprise then. But things should change with the Higher Colleges of Technology coming up with a BEd IT (Bachelor of Education in Information Technology) programme exclusively for men in association with the Abu Dhabi Educational Zone.

Higher diploma graduates in any computer related field can enrol for the two-year programme, which will groom them into future IT, teachers. Students who successfully finish the course will be absorbed by the educational zone to implement their IT project launched in various government schools.

HCT currently offers a B.Ed degree to train English teachers, and is run in all six women colleges in association with the University of Melbourne, Australia. The first batch of graduates of the course began working in schools this year. HCT also runs the B.Ed IT degree at Abu Dhabi Women’s and Ras Al Khaimah Women’s College, to train nationals to be IT teachers, following the heavy demand in Abu Dhabi arising out of the Future Electronic Project of the Zone.

As part of its efforts to attract young graduates into teaching cadre, Abu Dhabi Educational Zone held a presentation of their IT project for the HCT Abu Dhabi Men's College students last week. The handful of students who were present voiced their concern about the salaries, working atmosphere and growth prospects in teaching profession.

Answering students' queries, Mohammed Said Al Maskari, Deputy Manager for Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Zone, urged them to take up the opportunity to pioneer an educational revolution and innovative teaching in the UAE.

On their worries about the existing pay scale, Maskari assured the students that it was much better than what was offered in other government departments. "The package includes an additional teachers' bonus given by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan," he added.

Michael O'Brien, Curriculum Development Coordinator at the HCT, asked students to dispel notions about schools they had seen in their times.

"Things have changed considerably, and the schools are turning more and more high-tech and the environment quite challenging," he said.

However, some students told Khaleej Times that they are still skeptical about considering teaching as a preferred profession. "This is part of the localisation of all instructor jobs. What holds most of us back is the package. The motivation and incentive offered are not enough to attract young graduates. That is why after graduation, we join oil companies, banks etc," said Younis Al Masabi, an IT student from Abu Dhabi Men's College. He said teaching is not an easy job. "It requires lot of patience and discipline since one is dealing with young kids. You really need to have skills," he added.

Abdullah, another student, expressed fears that he might get stuck as a teacher throughout his life. "Will I have time to pursue higher studies if I start teaching which involves carrying home your work like correcting exam papers etc?" he asked.

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