x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Private school teachers to be polled

The Abu Dhabi Education Council is sending a job satisfaction survey to all teachers in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region.

ABU DHABI // A job satisfaction survey will give private school teachers in the capital a chance to reveal how they feel about their work.

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) is sending the survey, which will be filled out anonymously, to teachers in private and public schools in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region. More than 2,700 teachers from public schools have responded to the survey.

"Now we want private school teachers to confidently post up their grievances so that we can try to improve the education sector," said Dr Masood Badri, the director of research and performance management at Adec. The survey asks teachers to agree or disagree with statements about their enthusiasm, salary satisfaction, support and relationship with students, staff and management. It also asks teachers whether they feel on track to achieving work-related goals.

"We would like to know if teachers here are satisfied in their work environment and if they are being remunerated well," Dr Badri said. "We wanted to do this with the private school teachers this year because no one knows how they are treated, if they are being supported by their management and if they think they get good pay packages."

Last year, 1,450 teachers in public schools were surveyed by Adec.

About 9.8 per cent of teachers felt the principal did not respect them and 10.5 per cent said they were not respected by the parents.

Understanding teacher frustrations will allow the authority to address issues that cause a high teacher departure rate in the emirates. Last week, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority said progress at some schools in Dubai was hampered by a staff turnover of up to 60 per cent.

The phenomenon is not uncommon at international schools, where teachers come on annual contracts that they don't renew, while others leave midterm.

Teachers who were asked for their opinions about the survey said they welcomed the idea. One employee at a British school said the relationship with management was an important factor.

"The message schools send out is that we are easily replaceable and that does not demand a great deal of respect or loyalty from the staff," said the teacher. "There should be a system of rewards, promotion and training because these are temptations that will make them stay."

The results of the survey are to be announced at the end of June.

aahmed@thenational.ae