UAQ school teachers assured new facilities

UMM AL QUWAIN — The Chairman of Land and Property Department in Umm Al Quwain, Shaikh Marwan bin Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mualla, has ordered the allotment of a plot of land for constructing a separate building for the emirate’s zonal education department as a replacement for the leased residential flats. The gesture came during the visit paid by Dr Hanif Hassan Ali, Minister of Education, to Umm Al Quwain schools and the Zonal Administration yesterday.

By Mohsen Rashid

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Published: Fri 15 Sep 2006, 9:35 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:24 PM

Dr Hanif was accompanied during the visit by Obaid Al Qawood, Director of the Umm Al Quwain Educational Zone. The tour began with the Al Rifaa Secondary School for Girls in Sharjah before he reached Umm Al Quwain.

Dr Hanif who came from Abu Dhabi was briefed on the position of the campus and its classrooms. He ordered designating a computer laboratory immediately, for the school is in dire need of the facility. The order was a part of the directives issued by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who asked for upgrading and providing new laboratories to schools.

The Al Abraq Elementary School in Umm Al Quwain was the second stopover of Dr Hanif, who asked the director of his office to note down the name of the school in the list of the schools in which shades will be set up in their courtyards. He held a meeting with the teachers of lifestyle skills, the subject under discussion at present, and their choice for taking up the post of librarians or teachers of arts.

The female teachers contested their appointment as teachers of arts. Dr Hanif assured them that their duty will not be changed to teachers of arts. He however said that the matter is left for the administration of the educational zone to decide posting them as supervisors, librarians, or any vacant posts in schools that require staff. ‘The Ministry of Education is ready to let them undergo six-months training courses with the aim of qualifying them for the new job they will be posted into,’ he said. The matter is left for the administration of the zone after coordinating with the administration of the schools.

Dr Hanif was impressed over the eloquence of the girl students of Al Abraq School. Despite their young age, they were keen on speaking classical Arabic. Wanting to know the reason, he entered into a dialogue with the school principal Mariam Obaid Al Gharbi. He paid a tribute to the principal after he learnt that she was keen on teaching classical Arabic to her young students. Dr Hanif drove to the Al Amwaj Kindergarten where he inspected the maintenance works in the campus following the collapse of a ceiling in a classroom.

He asked both the director of the Zonal Education and the school’s principal to urgently rehabilitate the kindergarten children. They said that there was no other vacant building to house them in, and a replacement of the building was the only solution. They, however, assured that the ceiling would be repaired on Friday and Saturday, so as not to disrupt the studies. They also added that a building replacement will be done in the next academic year. They promised to coordinate with the Ministry of Public Works to find out new buildings to house them.

Dr Hanif visited the premises of the Zonal Education, which no other senior official at the Ministry had ever toured since its inception. Dr Hanif was shocked when he noticed the appalling condition of the building. The rooms used as offices were small and unequipped. He expressed his disgust at the stink emanating from the neighbouring residential apartments on the other floors.

He immediately called on Shaikh Marwan bin Rashid Al Mualla and briefed him on the matter. Shaikh Marwan’s response was quick when he ordered the donation of a plot of land in the emirate where the new premises of the Educational Zone would be constructed. Dr Hanif discussed the issue regarding female teachers and administrative officers, who rejected the order of their transfer. He promised in this context the action taken by the Al Ain Educational Zone director, who warned any employee against rejecting the order of his/her transfer within 24 hours.

The Director of the Al Ain Zonal Education warned that any employee rejecting the transfer orders to any place within 24 hours will be referred for investigation, and might be liable for a dismissal. He promised to study the quota of periods designated to every teacher in a way that will not hamper the teacher's classroom work. Speaking on the strength of students in each classroom, he said it does not matter if the class has 35 students, but what is important is how the teacher teaches them. He called on the school administrations to list all the obstacles they have faced since the beginning of the academic year so that the ministry would be able to address it in the next academic year, especially the importance of all schools participation in charting out a curriculum. ‘There is an agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance to grant female teachers suitable housing allowance according to the emirate in which the beneficiary works,’ Dr Hanif disclosed.

He said the benefit is meant for those teachers who stay in the teachers’ compound. They would be allotted an accommodation in remote areas, but those live in cities will be paid house allowance, he added.

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