The UAE's Minister of State for Public Education also said that "millions" is being spent to improve English-language training for Emiratis
A member of the UAE’s Federal National Council has expressed concern that too many teaching jobs are being given to expatriates over Emiratis.
Speaking to the Federal National Council (FNC) on Wednesday, Ras Al Khaimah FNC member Naama Al Sharhan argued that expatriate teachers cannot instil Emirati values in local students.
“Why are so many foreign teachers being hired in public schools?” she was quoted as asking by the Khaleej Times. “How can they instil the same morals and values in our children, and why are they believed to be better than Emirati teachers, who are now sitting at home because their jobs have been taken?”
Statistics presented to the FNC show that the Ministry of Education hired 3,430 expatriate teachers in the last year and a half, including 1,500 Westerners.
“This means 3,430 Emiratis were left jobless,” Al Sharhan said.
In response, Minister of State for Public Education Jameela bint Salem Al Muhairi noted that foreign teachers are hired so that “certain international standards” are set.
“English language is an imperative element in our education system, so it’s important for our students to learn it,” Al Muhairi said. “We have certain international standards to teach and there are a number of new subjects added to the new curriculum that not many Emiratis are applied to teach.”
Additionally, Al Muhairi said that schools must improve their English-language training for students, many of whom have been given marks that they don’t deserve.
“The country is spending millions on that,” she is quoted as saying by The National. “We used to give them 80 and 90 percent when they did not deserve it.”