The Irish embassy in Abu Dhabi on Sunday launched a survey of Irish teachers working in the United Arab Emirates, ahead of a visit in June by Ireland’s Minister for Education Joe McHugh, in which he will hold meetings to try and persuade some Irish teachers to return home.
“We are very much looking forward to the visit next month to the UAE by Ireland’s Minister for Education & Skills, Mr. Joe McHugh TD. This is an important visit which will allow Minister McHugh the opportunity to engage directly with the large Irish-teacher community in the UAE in “town-hall” –type meetings in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai,” Aidan Cronin, Ambassador of Ireland to the UAE, told Arabian Business.
“Irish teachers working in the UAE are extremely highly-regarded, following in a long tradition of Irish educators working overseas, and we are very proud of them and of the contribution they are making to the UAE.
"That said, we would of course like to see them continue their teaching careers in Ireland in due course and Minister McHugh wants to hear directly from them about their plans, about any obstacles standing in the way of them returning to Ireland to teach and their views on a range of issues related to the teaching profession in Ireland, including teacher retention and teacher recruitment,” he added.
The embassy’s survey can be accessed by clicking here
The survey has been launched to canvas opinion ahead of Minister McHugh’s visit the UAE in June.
The purpose of the minister’s visit is to help address the shortage of teachers within the Irish education system. The Irish embassy in Abu Dhabi estimates that around a third of the 13,000-strong Irish community in the Gulf work as teachers.
Deirdre Mathews, president of the Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools and Joint Managerial Body, told the Irish Times newspaper last week the shortage of teachers was the biggest challenge facing the Irish education system.
“It is important that you understand that this crisis now affects all subject areas during the school year and even during the summer recruitment season, schools experience real difficulties in filling viable posts in key subject areas,” she said.
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