I think that the school inspections by the authorities are a must, but the schools should not be given prior notice (‘School inspections: Exercise in futility?’ Gulf News, January 27). It has been rightly observed by the inspectors that most of the schools only strive hard during the three-week notice period, so that they can put up a grand show. During these three weeks, the teachers, students and parents are often made to work overtime by the school management. The inspection should focus on the overall development of the students and not on matters like the colourful charts displayed in the school. The focus should be on the discipline, cleanliness and organisational skills of the students first, and then on their general and subject knowledge. This would ensure that the student community is of a very high quality and would lead to a strong, well-equipped future generation.
No one would ever be able to inspect what a teacher teaches and what a child learns. Why don’t we let teaching and learning happen naturally? There is no need for inspections. Who inspected our schools when we were young? No one, but we still grew up as educated and smart adults. To improve the quality, one has to let the teachers and students be. However, I do agree that comfortable salaries for teachers is a must. How can a person give their heart and soul to their profession when he or she is not satisfied with the income? These people would be stressed out about balancing themselves financially, rather than concentrating on children and education.
From Ms Anupriya Dayal Budhwani
When the schools are warned ahead of time, they would definitely present well. Ask the teachers about their workload compared to their minimal salaries. Very often, teachers need to stay back at school after work hours and on weekends. If they don’t comply with that, then their salaries are deducted.
I know that such inspections are being conducted by the Ministry of Education to ensure quality and systematic education. But running the school with a slight marginal income over expenditure is not easy. Teachers, who play a predominant role in shaping children’s futures and preparing them to face challenges, are really not being remunerated properly. This leads to situations like indifferent attitudes, carelessness, lack of courtesy and attentiveness. Additionally, I feel there is an unjustified increase in school fees and bus fares each year. There should be some sort of interaction between school management and a formed parents’ association, where important points should be discussed. This healthy atmosphere will go a long way in developing a system based education, where the parents will have a feeling that they are not being oppressed.
Scarcity of schools itself is a great problem for expatriates living in Abu Dhabi. There is no question of quality until there are enough private schools to compete against each other.
The correlation between school ratings and the fee increase needs to be abolished. The occasional visits by the authorities to inspect the schools should be surprise visits. This will force schools to maintain a grand standard throughout the year and not just for a few weeks. There should also be some evaluation process to make sure that the teachers qualify and meet certain standards.
Abdullah Mohammad Al Habsi saved a life, which is like saving all of humanity, just moments before he died (‘A hero who always put others before himself,’ Gulf News, January 27). For sure, he would be very proud of his final deed. May God reward him.
Fun rides are always dangerous, no matter where they are manufactured, when people and organisations maintaining and operating them are not completely abiding by the rules and regulations of their proper usage and neglecting their responsibilities. In such cases, it would seem they are completely after monetary profit alone and that’s the biggest reason I say no to fun rides in amusement parks worldwide.
Rides in amusement parks are not dangerous if we compare them with some of our regular, everyday activities. Driving, crossing roads, leaning through windows and so on can also be dangerous if done carelessly.
A very good report I must say, to create awareness and negate this faulty practice by cafeteria owners (‘Rotten fruit sourced for juice drinks in some Dubai cafeterias,’ Gulf News, January 27.
The authorities must take severe action against restaurants and cafeterias indulging in the practice of selling items made from rotten produce. Many of these restaurants are using outdated and decaying vegetables for cooking. Also, the hygiene and cleanliness in some cafeterias is pathetic. Often, I wonder how they are able to run a business in such surroundings.
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