The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
The Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) revealed on Monday that it had rejected all requests submitted to it by some private educational institutions operating in the emirate to reduce salaries of its teaching staff during the academic year (2019-2020) due to the implications of the current situation. The rejection was based on the need of maintaining continuity of quality of teaching and learning, the SPEA emphasized.
Furthermore, the SPEA canceled any action taken by those schools in advance that contradicts its decisions, calling for returning the sums deducted from the teachers’ wages.
In a statement circulated to all private schools, the Authority announced cancellation of any action taken by educational institutions in this regard, and rejected any action that would reduce wages of their staffs until the end of the current academic year. Moreover, it obligated those educational institutions to return any sums deducted from teachers ’wages due to the current circumstances.
The SPEA has given those schools five working days from the date of issuing the decision as a deadline to return any sums deducted from teachers ’salaries, warning educational institutions of refraining from committing to the decision, otherwise they will subject to accountability per each case and on every month.
In its circular, SPEA affirmed that commitment of parents to pay school fees ensures continuity of the remote learning system, payment of teachers’ salaries and ability of schools to provide high-quality education. It also pointed out that schools are fulfilling duty to the fullest, and so the teachers, who are doubling efforts in preparing electronic educational content that suits the requirements of the current stage.
On his part, Ali Al Hosani, Director of the SPEA, said to the "Direct Line" radio program, “We rejected requests of 30 schools to reduce wages of their staffs, and we will not receive any new request in order not to impact the educational process.”
He also explained that 88 per cent of the parents in Sharjah private schools had paid the school fees for their children, thus schools must return the rights of their teachers, within a period of 5 days.
They would face a fine for each teacher whose salary had been cut and failed to return deducted amounts with the specified period, he added.
It is noteworthy that earlier the SPEA had issued warnings to all private schools not to sack teachers or employees in general, not to reduce their wages or to give them unpaid leave without a written approval from the SPEA.
The move aims to maintain the quality of distance education, the SPEA said, indicating that in the event of a lack of commitment from schools, legal measures would be taken against them, which may reach cancellation of the offending institution’s license.
The SPEA said if parents are reluctant to send kids to the schools in the first phase of reopening, they can choose the distance learning option.
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