Teachers’ Retirement Roundup: School Guards in Classes and Students Spending their Days in the Playground
2020-01-18 - 1:29 am
Bahrain Mirror (Roundup 2019): The President of the Civil Service Bureau (CSB), Ahmed bin Zayed Al-Zayed, said that in order to ensure the functioning of the course of the educational process and interest of students are not affected, it was decided that June 30, 2019 would be the last day for the employees working in educational and administrative jobs in schools, who were accepted in the voluntary retirement program.
This was a statement by Al-Zayed announcing the final date for the voluntary retirement of more than 3,634 teachers and administrative employees within the framework of measures taken by the government, in the hope of restoring balance to the state's finances.
Due to the gap left by the number of retirees in the education sector, the Tender Board announced (January 30, 2019) a bid of 1.83 million dinars to a consultation company for the purpose of developing the Education Ministry's structure and implementing a reform program .
German Roland Berger Company began its work on March 1, 2019 on the restructuring of the Ministry of Education. The company expressed surprise by the size of the gap that will be caused by the voluntary retirement of some of the ministry's employees, and the difficulty to fill that gap amid the presence of thousands of volunteer staff and employees unqualified for educational jobs.
Academics expected that the company will face great difficulties in the restructuring of the ministry, noting that the retirement of thousands of teachers and specialists cannot be quickly compensated.
The Civil Service Bureau stated (May 2, 2019) that it will announce a recruitment contest for obtaining a teaching position at the Ministry of Education after specifying the jobs to be published in the local and foreign media. Meanwhile, Minister Majed Al-Nuaimi said that the number of new teachers will be determined in light of recommendations to be raised by the consulting firm.
Al-Nuaimi said on September 2, 2019 that the ministry has worked to cover the shortage caused by the departure of educational staff within the voluntary retirement program by recruiting many Bahraini teachers specialized in various majors.
He stated a month later on October 2, 2019 that his ministry had prepared "for this stage, and nearly 900 Bahraini teachers have been hired, and more than 234 teacher training programs have been carried out in the field."
Minister Al-Nuaimi was attempting to promote that the conditions of schools would be fine despite the effects of the government program, but the progress of things at the start of the school year revealed that education is facing a collapse with the absence of teachers in classrooms.
Hassan Bin Thabit Primary Boys School spent weeks without a school principal and resorted to using the school guard to give classes due to a shortage of teachers. Parents said that their children complained that they were not being given lessons and that they spent most of the school hours without learning, adding that they spent their time playing in the schoolyard.
Information indicated that since the school year began, schools have been working with very limited staff, and the shortage has not been compensated, while ministry officials often apologize for not answering requests from school principals to compensate for the lack of teachers of main subjects.
One month after returning to school, parents of students in Al-Dair Elementary School confirm that there are two subjects lacking teachers and say "although the students in class didn't go to school in protest of the absence of teachers, the ministry did nothing."
Current teachers are paying the price of the government's failed policies. A school principal said that the teachers are bearing the burden of these wrong policies. "Many teachers are struggling to teach students (...) but that is not fair. The ministry should reconsider its policies and quickly find a solution for the situation," he stressed.
To confirm this, teacher at Sitra Primary school for girls, Sidiqa Sayed Saleh, struggled and fought a brain clot in order to complete her classes, since there were not enough teaching staff to cover them for her.