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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Clamping down on foreign workers raises other issues

Our readers have their say on overseas workers, the late Bollywood actress Sridevi and speaking in your native tongue

An Arabic teacher in the classroom. Ravindranath K / The National
An Arabic teacher in the classroom. Ravindranath K / The National

I refer to the article UK farmers’ fear over lack of foreign workers (February 25): it voices the genuine concerns of UK farmers, who are growing crops and managing poultry farms, about the impact on production, due to a decline in arrivals of foreign workers. This is a timely article. While countries must guard jobs for locals, they should not do so to the extent that local production suffers.

Saudi Arabia is also looking at the issue of foreign workers and will need to analyse whether adequate local talent and skills are available before curtailing foreign manpower at all levels. If a country ejects all its migrant workers in haste to create jobs for locals and if their replacements do not have the relevant skills, it becomes necessary later to re-import foreign workers at higher costs.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Sridevi was one in a million and will be missed by many

In reference to your report Bollywood legend Sridevi dies at 54 (February 25) about the recent loss of a legend in Dubai, the passing of this charming, versatile actress, who acted in four different languages, was very sad.

She started as a child artist and rose to fame as a heroine, acting alongside all the leading stars in the film industry. She gave remarkable performances in all of her films but a few memorable ones stand out, such as Sadma, Mr India, Chalbaaz and her wonderful role in the Hindi film English Vinglish.

She was also bestowed with many awards and was liked by everyone in the film industry. Her departure is the greatest loss to that industry.

No one anticipated her departure so soon and all of Bollywood will be praying for this calm, smiling human being, who was full of spirit. I pray for her grieving family members.

K Ragavan, Bangalore

Make Arabic mandatory in all subjects from grade one

I am writing out of frustration with the situation I have been facing in my son’s school in Dubai. My son is Emirati and has just started learning Arabic in grade 10 but will shortly have to sit an A level in the subject.

He is a brilliant kid who studies hard and is looking forward to continuing his education by going to one of the top universities such as MIT in the US or Cambridge in the UK but as I am a single mother and don’t speak Arabic, my son never learnt to speak it properly.

I thought it would be his school’s responsibility to help him maintain a proper level of Arabic, which turned out not to be the case.

Not understanding Arabic at all is hugely frustrating for him. The results of his A level will bring down his total average and have an effect on his future plans.

I am very sad that my Emirati son doesn’t speak or understand Arabic. I think the school and education system here needs to be adapted to ensure all Emirati children learn their native language in school properly and perhaps even make it mandatory from grade one to teach all subjects in Arabic.

Name withheld by request