x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Emirati dropout who went back to studies to get a job

Dr Natasha Ridge, executive director of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, blames unqualified teachers for the unpleasant experiences boys have at school.

Abdulla Al Hammadi, 23, stands in front of the Hamdan Bin Mohamed School in Baniyas west, near Abu Dhabi, where he attends Grade 10 evening classes for adults. Silvia Razgova / The National
Abdulla Al Hammadi, 23, stands in front of the Hamdan Bin Mohamed School in Baniyas west, near Abu Dhabi, where he attends Grade 10 evening classes for adults. Silvia Razgova / The National

ABU DHABI // By the time Abdulla Al Hammadi left school at 17, he had lost all interest in education.

But the Grade 10 dropout soon realised that finding a good job was close to impossible without a high school degree.

"I thought by dropping out of school, I would be relieved," said the Emirati, currently completing his schooling at an adult education centre in Baniyas.

"As time passed, I saw people graduating and getting a degree, but many still failed to get a job," he said.

"I thought of my future and decided to resume studying. I do not want my children to think of me as an uneducated father."

Mr Al Hammadi, now 23, first enrolled in a vocational institute which he enjoyed because of the hands-on learning opportunity. "It was practical compared to school, where things are based on memorisation," he said.

But the degree was not recognised by education authorities, so he had to enrol in adult education classes this year.

Mr Al Hammadi works during the day and takes evening classes at the Hamdan bin Mohammed School in Baniyas.

Dr Natasha Ridge, executive director of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, blames unqualified teachers for the unpleasant experiences boys have at school.

But Mr Al Hammadi said the education system had improved since he was at school, particularly with more technology being used.

"There should be more incentives for students so that they get motivated to study," he said.

Mr Al Hammadi has learnt his lesson the hard way and has a different future planned for his children.

"Of course, I will encourage my children to pursue higher education," he said.

aahmed@thenational.ae