Manama: A Bahraini official has urged nursery and kindergarten teachers to improve their academic levels to be able to work in government schools and receive better salaries.
Women teachers in pre-school establishments have often complained through the media or to government officials about their low salaries.
However, Subah Al Dossary, the labour ministry undersecretary, said that they should reach a higher level that will empower them to work in public schools where they will have greater job stability and higher pays.
“Unfortunately, many of these teachers do not seek to enhance their capabilities and move afterwards to government schools,” he said.
Al Dossary said that the teachers wanted to remain in pre-school establishments to enjoy the benefits of more flexible and shorter working hours.
“The only solution for the issue is for the teachers to study for higher degrees that allow them to work in public schools instead of nurseries or kindergartens. If they do not study, they give the impression that they are pleased with their current situation,” he said.
The official said that most of the pre-school establishments were not licensed by the government.
“Most of the establishments are simply houses that did not receive the proper permits from the education ministry and most of the teachers are not covered by social insurance,” he said.
“The fact that the teachers have a relatively short working schedule makes it difficult for nursery owners to increase their salaries. They argue that boosting pay would in turn force them to ask for higher fees from the parents,” he said.
Several lawmakers have taken up the case of the nursery teachers demanding higher wages, but faced problems reaching compromises with the owners of the private nurseries and kindergartens.
According to labour ministry figures, 51 per cent of the pre-school establishment teachers received less than 120 Bahraini dinars (Dh1,156) a month, almost one fourth of what a beginner government school teacher receives.