Somehow, there seems to be a glitch in the process of encouraging, hiring and maintaining Emiratis as teachers.
Factors hindering advancement of Emirati teachers
With reference to the article Emirati graduates give up on teaching (February 20): after reading the contradicting views of professionals in the education sector on the plight of aspiring Emirati teachers, one thing seems to stand out. Somehow, there seems to be a glitch in the process of encouraging, hiring and maintaining Emiratis as teachers while the other side of the debate is that the process is not flawed at all, the doors are open and welcoming to those who aspire to become educators.
There is nothing more discouraging than when your aspirations and dreams are hindered by tedious red tape, quotas and being thrown into turbulent, competitive waters where one becomes a commodity that might be chosen. Ideally, this is an "if only" situation. If only the hiring process were more simple and transparent, you would not have so many dejected "wannabe" teachers. If only native language teachers were not hired solely based on their nationality and accent, perhaps the hiring process would be less complicated. If only we take that huge step in eradicating the mindset that most parents have that a foreign educated accent is more socially acceptable, this problem would not exist at all.
There is no power larger than education, but we have set so many boundaries on how we want to educate and be educated that teaching has become commercialised. Unfortunately, parents judge schools on the nationality of the schoolteachers and so do students. If schools feel that newly graduated Emirati teachers are not commercially viable, perhaps the higher powers should step in to promote and aid them to realise their dreams.
If inexperience is a factor, there are also steps in developing new teachers as aides first to let them get into the flow. The cushy lures of money and stability should not be the only reasons to become a teacher. One should be open to start from the bottom at times and anticipate challenges along the way to realising one's dreams. It takes two hands to clap but whether the sound produced is harmonious to both potential employers and wannabe teachers is something that we have to wait and - hear. SS Uma,Abu Dhabi
There comes a point at which rogue states must be confronted. A state that chooses to arm itself with nuclear weapons, ignores repeated UN resolutions, is found guilty of war crimes, operates a policy of apartheid, enforces a medieval-like collective punishment blockade on its occupied populace, and operates by the planned illegal assassination of its political opponents, should not be tolerated. When will the Gulf States speak out openly and oppose this seemingly "can do no wrong" regime and how soon might we see a joint US/British/Gulf intervention to bring Israel under control? Adil Ali, Abu Dhabi
Hats off to Hadeel al Shalchi (How a trip to Kerala spiced up my life, February 20) for a balanced and informative piece on Kerala cuisine. Aside from the spices that grow in abundance in Kerala, this "paradise on earth" owes its rich culinary heritage to a happy mix of Arab, Portuguese, Dutch and Chinese influences over centuries past. The Kerala biryani puts to shame the most exotic Spanish paella for sheer spectacle and flavour. In this matriarchal state where women call the shots, the kitchen is one domain where the male is king. And judging by Ms al Shalchi's piece on Kerala cuisine, three cheers to that! Vernon Ram, Hong Kong
I refer to the article Date for smoking ban is on hold (February 8). Smoking has been banned in public places in Australia for some years. All restaurants, hotels, shops and offices have a no smoking policy. Even outdoor sporting arenas like the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Olympic Stadium in Sydney are smoke free. Restaurants and clubs can provide an outdoors area for smokers. It is certainly refreshing not having to breathe in smoke while dining, and also while enjoying the cricket or rugby. I applaud the UAE for starting the process of ensuring its citizens do not suffer an additional health risk by breathing in other people's smoke. Also in New South Wales, you cannot smoke in a car that has children as passengers. Dian Ball, Australia
In reference to the article Believe in me again, pleads Tiger (February 20), now that the world has had its fill of revenge in extracting a public apology from Tiger Woods, I hope they will leave him alone to play golf again and mend his relationship with his wife. A strictly personal matter was turned into a public circus by the media.
Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai