Sharjah Private Education Authority
The Sharjah Private Education Authority Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: All requests by educational institutions to cut teachers’ salaries “due to the current situation” have been rejected for the current academic year, Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) said on Monday.

SPEA posted on its official Instagram account, @shjspea, that any steps schools have taken to cut salaries “are eliminated” and they cannot reduce wages till the end of the academic year.

They have been told to return any amount deducted from salaries within five working days from the date of the SPEA’s decision. If educational institutes don’t comply, they will be “accountable for each case affected by the wages experienced by each teacher for each month”.

The SPEA post, in Arabic and English, follows a series of tweets posted shortly before in Arabic on @Sharjahnews, “the official account for news from the Sharjah Radio and Television Authority”.

That account quoted Ali Al Hosani, director of SPEA, which retweeted his remarks on its own Twitter account, @shjspea.

The translated tweets quoted him as saying, “We rejected requests from 30 schools to reduce employee wages, and we will not receive any new request for fear that the educational process will be affected.”

Another tweet read, “Schools must return teachers’ rights, within a period of 5 days. If you do not do so, you will be subject to a violation for each teacher who has reduced his salary.”

The thread said the remarks come “after receiving complaints related to teachers’ salary cuts and ending their services in private schools”. Al Hosani was speaking on the popular radio show ‘Lilkhat Almubashr’, or ‘Direct Line’, according to the posts.

“We issued a circular to private schools not to make any changes in the educational staff, whether by laying off the teacher, reducing his [or her] wages, or giving him [or her] leave without pay, except after referring to the commission and taking written consent.”

Also, according to the thread of posts, 88 per cent of parents of students in Sharjah private schools have paid their fees.

What private Sharjah schools did this academic year

  • Made 98 teachers redundant
  • Placed 87 teachers on unpaid leave
  • Cut 910 teachers' pay
  • 44 per cent of schools cut fees between five and 40 per cent (on average, five to 10 per cent)
  • 53 per cent of schools (whose fees range Dh20,000 to Dh30,000 annually) had cut staff salaries