ABU DHABI // Emiratis who have applied for teaching jobs at Government schools will be given preference when the education ministry fills its vacant positions.
The Ministry of Education said it received more than 10,000 applications for the 382 available teaching positions in the 2013-2014 academic year.
Among these, 2,000 applications were made by Emiratis. These applications will be given priority over those of expatriates, education officials told The National's Arabic-language sister paper, Al Ittihad.
About 60 Emirati men have also been interviewed to join schools this year, they said.
Marwan Ahmed Al Sawaleh, the ministry's assistant undersecretary for support services, said Emiratis will be assessed to match positions first, after which expatriate teachers will be considered for the remaining roles.
He said the move formed part of their drive to encourage more Emiratis into the profession.
About 12,417 Emiratis teach in state schools, of which only 4 per cent are men.
Teacher training institutes have very few men enrolling for their education courses. The number has dropped from 45 enrolled for such courses in 2010 to 13 in 2011, according to a survey conducted by the Sharjah Education Zone.
University heads have urged the ministry to speed up the application process so that more Emiratis graduating from federal institutions can be hired, with minimum attrition.
Mr Al Sawaleh acknowledged the challenge in attracting men to schools, but added that, on the positive side "the Emiratisation of principal positions has reached 100 per cent in ministry's schools".