UAE: Retirees find another reason to stay with new private tuition work

It allows them to empower young learners and also prolong their residency in the country

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Nandini Sircar

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Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File
Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File

Published: Wed 20 Dec 2023, 5:50 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Dec 2023, 7:56 AM

The recently launched private teaching work permit presents an opportunity for retirees, particularly those from the education field, to have a revenue stream.

This avenue allows them to prolong their residency in the UAE even after retiring from their main careers.

This was reiterated by a few UAE residents who have spent years of service in the education profession in the country.

Sajida Al Bashir, who was born in Amman, Jordan, but is originally from Palestine, has called the UAE home for 29 years.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, about the new work permit that legalises private tuitions, this expat who has been an educator for 28 years here explains this initiative gives people from the academia a chance to continue working beyond their current associations.

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“I would definitely want to continue working even after my retirement and this is a great opportunity. I've been thinking whether, after I retire, I'll still be invited to many work events I’m accustomed to attending, or if my contributions might be forgotten over time," Sajida said.

Sajida Al Bashir. Photo: Supplied
Sajida Al Bashir. Photo: Supplied

“I also feel many people still value professional development long after their primary career is over. It doesn’t have to cease once your main career has ended,” she added.

Sajida emphasised that despite being approached by numerous parents for private tutorials, she consistently turned them down because it wasn’t legally permissible and she lacked the time.

‘Teaching is what I know best’

“Once a teacher, you continue being an educator for the rest of your life and you build contacts at a place over the years. Teaching is what I know best, and I won’t stop being one (teacher) after I retire,” said the Assistant Head Teacher at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai.

She noted that parents are also on a perpetual lookout for good teachers “who possess expertise and experience.”

A mother of four, Sajida has been instrumental in the advancement of progressive teaching methodologies in Arabic across the UAE and beyond.

“If our skills can be used to monetise and help ourselves and our families with an income source after retirement, then it’s the best thing to happen. I can continue living for many more years in this country that I’ve called home,” said the 49-year-old educator, who also calls herself a lifelong learner.

The teacher of Islamic Education, Arabic, and Social Studies also highlighted the importance of continuous self-improvement and expanding connections beyond one's existing affiliations.

“To grow personally, it's essential to focus ahead and invest in self-development which can also then financially stand one in good stead. This country truly provides avenues for individuals to create a more inclusive society, enabling people to thrive beyond their professional careers and I would certainly want to explore this option.”

There is hope

Similarly, 61-year-old Indumathi Gokulan started her career as a teacher in the UAE in 1993.

After her 30-long years of service, now it was time for her to return to her home country. But with the launch of this permit, there is hope for her to continue with her life here in the UAE.

The new private teacher work permit could offer Indumathi an extended opportunity to remain in this country for several more years. Leveraging her teaching experience, she aims not only to sustain her life here but also to provide positive reinforcement, empowering young learners.

Indumathi Gokulan. Photo: Supplied
Indumathi Gokulan. Photo: Supplied

The teacher who retired from a GEMS school in June 2023 said: “If I get a decent number of students in my tutorial classes, then I can continue living here. This sounds like a possibility now.”

After the announcement, she mentioned that her married daughter, residing in Dubai, was the first to relay this news to her.

“We would like to stay close to each other in the same country and I am certainly going to apply for it (permit) once there is more clarity. As we all understand, the primary basis for someone staying in a country such as the UAE relies on the flow of finances.”

Indumathi emphasised having been a UAE resident for several decades now she has established deep roots in this country.

“Starting anew in your homeland, despite it being your native country, can pose significant challenges after such a long time. My life revolves around this place and I have old friends here. So, this work permit is indeed a valuable initiative, offering us the opportunity to remain in the country even once we retire from our active work life,” she added.

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