Teachers are arriving - but how long will they stay in the UAE?
ducation is one of the biggest industries in the UAE with 15 new schools scheduled to open in Dubai alone in time for the new academic year.
However, a 2015 report by international think tank OECD suggested that even though more schools are launching in the country, many continue to struggle with a high turnover rate of teachers.
Some of the new schools include the Sunmarke School by Fortes Education in Jumeirah Village Triangle ( JVT), the GEMS Heritage Indian School in Al Barsha and the Arcadia Preparatory School also in JVT.
Sanjay Mankani, the Managing Director of Fortes Education and Director of Fortes Holdings, believes that even though teachers abroad are very interested in working in Dubai, the high turnover is because of the ‘mindset’ of teachers wanting ‘different kinds of experiences’.
Mankani said: “There’s a lot of interest from teachers looking to work in the UAE, particularly because of its strategic location and it offers a certain lifestyle.”
Mankani said that teachers with a bachelors degree often get jobs in Dubai with a salary package of between Dhs20,000 to Dhs30,000, including housing, medical insurance and flight tickets.
“Dubai would attract teachers from abroad because it offers the lifestyle and budget they are looking for,” he said. “A lot of teachers stay for three or four years and move on to their next destination and a lot of them are single. But the ones who get married stay.”
Irishman Garrett Thompson (right) runs a teacher recruitment company, Teach and Explore, and is sending 150 new teachers to the UAE next month.
“It’s the ability to save and even spend a wage,” he said.
He said the average salary for a young teacher in Ireland is Dhs10,041 per month compared with a package of Dhs12,552 in Dubai that is free of income tax and includes free housing, free healthcare and free education for their children.
Gemma Healy (pictured left), 32, from County Limerick, Ireland, is starting work in Abu Dhabi in September. “I am taking a career break,” she said. “I’m taking it one year at a time, if I want I can apply to extend it by a year at a time.” Helene McGlone Carter, 38, is originally from County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland but has been teaching in Liverpool, UK for 11 years. “I am going to Dubai so I can live my life, over here there is no work-life balance,” she said. “There’s a culture of ‘it’s your job to get my child a qualification’, I can certainly give them the tools but they have to open the door themselves.” McGlone Carter said she is looking forward to teaching in GEMS First Point. “The parents came here to improve their lives,” she said. “The children will be the same, wanting to do well.”
INFLUX: The UAE welcomes high number of new teachers each year