Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

Indian citizens have helped to teach and build the UAE

The story of Dubai teacher Rosy George is intertwined with that of the nation itself

Rosy George, believed to be the longest serving school teacher in Dubai, at her home in Karama. She has retired from the Indian High School after almost 40 years. Pawan Singh / The National 
Rosy George, believed to be the longest serving school teacher in Dubai, at her home in Karama. She has retired from the Indian High School after almost 40 years. Pawan Singh / The National 

For the past 38 years, Rosy George has inspired bright young minds at the Indian High School in Dubai. Pupils perform better, Ms George told The National, “if I am focused in my work and I share my love with children”. This long-serving teacher, who retired on Sunday, demonstrates the importance of educators in our society. They are the unsung heroes who, with passion and a sense of vocation, give their time to educating future generations. Ever since she first entered her classroom in 1980, Ms George has shown a phenomenal level of dedication to her pupils. On Sunday, she walked out of it safe in the knowledge that hundreds of children will have taken the ethics and skills she imparted to them into their adult lives.

But Ms George’s story is also one of a changing nation. When she settled in Dubai’s Deira district, it was a small, low-rise neighbourhood. What subsequently grew around her over four decades were the towering skyscrapers of a 21st-century metropolis. And yet, just as the principles that underpin her teaching have remained amid a changing educational landscape, the UAE’s core values of inclusivity, industry and tolerance have endured throughout its transformation.

And those principles are particularly relevant to the nation’s Indian population, of which Ms George – one of the UAE’s longest-serving teachers – is a particularly prized member. Indian nationals have played vital roles at every stage of the UAE’s development and are today, with a 3.3 million-strong contingent, its largest expatriate group. Meanwhile, annual bilateral trade between India and the UAE has soared from $182 million, when Ms George arrived in 1980, to $53 billion today.

As Ms George steps down from her post, the nation thanks her for her devotion to its youth. But her departure also offers an opportunity to reaffirm the country’s gratitude to all her compatriots who have done so much to build the UAE we know today.

Updated: March 31, 2019 06:12 PM

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