Sunday, May 07, 2006

MoE move to stop transfer of teachers to non-teaching jobs :: Khaleej Times

Despite a desperate need for female teachers, at least three female science and language teachers have been forced out of their jobs and transferred to non-teaching positions on the orders of MoE undersecretary Dr. Jamal Al Mohiri, and his deputy, Mohammed bin Hindi, it was claimed yesterday.

The teachers, all highly qualified, were instead given secretarial or administrative positions. Ministry sources have told the Khaleej Times that all the demotions were done without valid reasons and against the wishes of the school boards involved.

The article does not provide any motivation for the transfers. If there was no valid reason, what were the invalid reasons? Did the teachers seek the transfers? If so, that signals that the problem may be that teaching is not sufficiently rewarding. The money used to create the nonteaching posts could have been used instead to improve the salaries and work environment of teachers in order to retain good teachers and to attract more devoted teachers into the profession.

UPDATE: Note that teacher retention is also a problem in the US. No doubt many of the reasons the UAE is not holding on to good teachers are the same as in the US. And no doubt part of that reason is men and women different. Women bear children. Thus women choose professions where leaving the profession and returning does not have severe consequences (you can return easily even after several years away - your skills and experience are still valued). Teaching is one of those professions. Women are also most likely to be the partner in marriage who specializes in staying at home. These supply side issues are ones that schools do not control.



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