‘Highly-qual­i­fied teacher but I’m ig­nored for jobs’

7 Days in Dubai - - DEAR 7 DAYS -

I’m a Filip­ina pro­fes­sional teacher and I’m writ­ing this let­ter to be a voice for all teach­ers that were not treated fairly when it comes to re­cruit­ment. I have been teach­ing in Dubai in var­i­ous nurs­eries and early learn­ing cen­tres for the past 14 years and spent all these years in­vest­ing on my per­sonal im­prove­ment and qual­i­fi­ca­tion in or­der to fit in UAE’s ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. And this is the only time that I have found it hard to find a job be­cause of my na­tion­al­ity, since I’m not a na­tive English speaker. Be­fore, I only suf­fered with much lesser pay com­pared with my Euro­pean coun­ter­parts. I have noth­ing against teach­ers who are na­tive speak­ers. Does be­ing a na­tive speaker con­sti­tute com­mit­ment, pas­sion, ded­i­ca­tion and gen­uine care for a child? Re­mem­ber, lit­tle knowl­edge is dan­ger­ous. In other coun­tries, they put em­pha­sis in ex­pe­ri­ence and qual­i­fi­ca­tions. The younger the child, the higher should be the qual­i­fi­ca­tion. I hold a Bach­e­lors De­gree In El­e­men­tary Ed­u­ca­tion, CACHE Level 3 (With A Grade) and In­ter­na­tional Pre-School Cur­ricu­lum Qual­i­fi­ca­tion. Aside from these I am also a Mu­si­cian. Play both key­board and gui­tar and well verse in chil­dren’s mu­sic in­te­gral for Early Years set­tings. But I was al­ways left be­hind, de­nied op­por­tu­ni­ties when it comes to re­cruit­ment be­cause of stereo­typ­ing. BE­CAUSE BUSI­NESS DIC­TATES. This prac­tice of re­cruit­ing in UAE is un­fair to us who have the qual­i­fi­ca­tions be­cause of our Na­tion­al­ity and stereo­typ­ing. We are de­nied em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties even if we have the nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­pe­ri­ences. Those who took the jobs in­tended for us some­times don’t de­serve to be a teacher. Un­qual­i­fied, in­ex­pe­ri­enced. It’s only that they are na­tive speak­ers. There are even ads that are ev­ery dis­cour­ag­ing and racist that says: Only Euro­peans, Amer­i­cans, New Zealand, South Africans are al­lowed to send their CVs. This prac­tice should be dis­cour­aged. I hope this un­fair prac­tice will stop. It is very sad and frus­trat­ing that other na­tion­al­i­ties are favoured com­pared to us, qual­i­fied even if they are un­der qual­i­fied and no ex­pe­ri­ences. I con­sider UAE to be my sec­ond home and I be­lieve KHDA will grant us Filipino teach­ers equal em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Early Years Depart­ment of the Ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. Frus­trated Teacher Dubai So schools are two weeks into the new term. The kids are get­ting used to the rou­tine again, just find­ing their feet in new schools, new class­rooms, get­ting to know new teach­ers and mak­ing new friends. Then, oh hello, let’s stop all that now and have a week off. Now let’s get this clear: I am not, in any way, com­plain­ing at all about the hol­i­day for Eid – of course it’s im­por­tant. Eid Al Adha is an im­por­tant date on the cal­en­dar – and one we can all en­joy and get in­volved in, re­gard­less of faith. But my ques­tion is: is it re­ally nec­es­sary to close the schools for a whole week, par­tic­u­larly as they’ve just gone back? One thing that gets me, why are schools classed as pub­lic sec­tor – fall­ing in line with gov­ern­ment de­part­ments – and be­ing or­dered to close for a full week? About 90 per cent of schools in the UAE are pri­vate busi­nesses, tak­ing fees from par­ents – most of whom work in the pri­vate sec­tor – and who won’t have for full week off, some prob­a­bly won’t get any days off. It’s the as­sump­tion that ev­ery­one has pre-ar­ranged child­care for the full week, su­per-nan­nys and maids at their beck and call. And what about the kids them­selves? Back into struc­tured learn­ing, only to be taken out of it again straight away. Wav­ing good­bye to all of their new bud­dies al­ready. Isn’t one of the themes of the expo about learn­ing and ‘cre­at­ing minds’? Yes, it’s up to par­ents to make sure their child con­tin­ues to learn while out of school – and I will make sure mine has set ac­tiv­i­ties. The de­ci­sion to close the schools for a week wasn’t just taken this week, it would have been in the plan­ning. Wouldn’t it have been bet­ter for ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­i­ties to have ex­tended last term by three weeks and not had schools re­turn un­til after Eid?

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