Emirati teachers begin their careers

In the capital, Al Ain and the Western Region, 300 Emiratis began new jobs as teachers and administrators at schools managed by the Abu Dhabi Education Council.

ABU DHABI // Pupils were not the only ones with butterflies in their stomachs on the first day of school.

In the capital, Al Ain and the Western Region, 300 Emiratis began new jobs as teachers and administrators at schools managed by the Abu Dhabi Education Council, or Adec.

One of these was Fatima Baslum, who said she had been looking forward to starting her career as an Arabic teacher to kindergarten pupils ever since she graduated from the Emirates College for Advanced Education two years ago.

“I was so excited,” said Ms Baslum, 25, who is teaching at Al Naifa School. “This is my dream.”

Despite all the training she had received, nothing could have prepared her for the reaction of her pupils.

“The children were crying. I don’t know why. They were just crying and crying,” Ms Baslum. “I talked with them and I took them outside to play and that worked.”

When the classes had concluded at midday, she admitted she was drained but still looking forward to doing it all over again today.

“I’m a little bit tired but it’s good,” Ms Baslum said.

Adec has intensified its Emiratisation programme this year by increasing the number of nationals working in government schools to 4,869 from 4,563 last year.

Of these, 4,187 are women, while the number of men has risen to 682 from 617 last year.

Among those is Ahmed bin Samid, 22, who started his new job teaching Islamic studies to Grade 2 pupils at Al Ittihad National Private School in Khalifa City on Sunday.

“It’s my hope to try to share knowledge with other people,” said Mr bin Samid. “I’m very happy, very, very happy, not nervous.”

He said he arrived in class with sweets and special stationery to help win over his pupils. The trick seemed to work.

“Some students are very nice and quiet,” Mr bin Samid said. “Some, a little bit noisier.”

Psychologist Samar Al Tunaiji was busy attending training sessions and workshops on her first day at Umm Al Emarat School.

As the only psychologist at her school Ms Al Tunaiji, 31, encouraged others to pursue the career.

“I feel that we are important because before, when I was a student, I wanted somebody to talk with – not the administration,” she said. “Every school needs not one, but two or three psychologists.”

Ms Al Tunaiji said she felt optimistic about the year ahead and was looking forward to offering guidance and counselling to her pupils and peers.

“I am interested to meet the students,” she said. “I hope to do my good job in the best way.”

Adec has also hired an extra 144 expatriate teachers, who started work on Sunday.

“We are very proud of our new teachers who have chosen to take up teaching as a profession,” Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, director general of Adec, said at a welcoming ceremony last week.

“It is without doubt that you have made the right choice, and I would like to assure each and every single one of you that you have our full support.”

Dr Al Qubaisi said Adec would work with teachers to ensure they were progressing in their careers and enjoying their jobs.

“Your contribution is the reason why we actually exist to start with, and without you our work cannot be complete,” she said.

“ We depend on you and trust that you will serve your country and children in the best possible way.”

rpennington@thenational.ae

Published: August 31, 2014 04:00 AM

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