DUBAI // Government schools lost 164 Emirati teachers in the first half of the year, a report released by an FNC committee shows.
The report, submitted to FNC Speaker Mohammed Al Murr, held recommendations to make teaching more attractive to nationals.
It was released by the education, youth and culture committee.
It says teachers should be offered the option to retire after 15 years of service instead of 20, and that retirement should not be linked to a specific age, as it is now.
It also calls for improving the work environment and financial incentives for teachers.
The ministry employed 17,564 workers halfway through the year, reports Al Ittihad, the Arabic-language sister paper of The National.
FNC member Dr Mona Al Bahar (Dubai), chairwoman of the committee, said Ministry of Education policies on teachers’ conditions would be discussed this session.
She said the committee held three meetings with teachers in various emirates and heard that their main concerns were over remuneration and retirement.
“Some teachers think this profession is a dark tunnel,” Dr Al Bahar said. “We have noticed in the faculty of education in the UAE University that high-school students were turning away from education specialities, some of which even had zero registration on a certain year.”
The report says 37 Emiratis and 13 expatriates resigned in the second quarter. In the first quarter, 141 people left, including 127 Emiratis.
Muneera Al Zarooni said she was not surprised by the number of teacher dropouts.
Although the Emirati has loved her 18 years as a government teacher and is now a school team leader in Sharjah, she has seen colleagues leave over frustrations related to their working conditions and an unsympathetic ministry.
“Now the salary is better. It’s a nice salary now but the work has become very demanding,” said Mrs Al Zarooni.
She said many teachers carried a heavy workload outside of the classroom, which required them to prepare reports or teach at more than one school.
Hamad Al Rahoomi, an FNC member representing Dubai, said the number of male teachers in government schools was 10 per cent of the total.
Mr Al Rahoomi said this was unsatisfactory and should “sound the alarm bells”.
He warned that it would diminish even further without intervention.