9,000 female jobless teachers cry foul



About 9,000 Saudi female teachers who have been unemployed for anywhere between six months and six years and are facing financial difficulties have called upon Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to intervene to solve their problem and give them permanent jobs under the Ministry of Education.
Suad Al-Harbi, a spokesperson for the teachers, known as “badeelat” in Arabic, said the Civil Affairs Ministry was appointing other inexperienced teachers in their place. “Why don’t they appoint us instead of appointing fresh graduates? We have several years of experience as teachers and administrators,” she told Arab News.
Al-Harbi asked the Ministry of Education to remove the conditions they have put in place for hiring them. “Three years ago, it gave permanent jobs to 82,000 temporary teachers without conditions and we also want the ministry to appoint us without conditions,” she added.
Al-Harbi said the teachers, including widows, divorcees and orphans, were facing many financial problems due to unemployment. “We have knocked at the doors of the Ministries of Education, Civil Affairs and Finance to solve our problem and we have been traveling to Riyadh to meet officials and present our grievances but we have not received any help,” she said.
Khaled Aburas, a Saudi journalist and media coordinator for the teachers, urged the Education Ministry to settle this issue without further delay considering the teachers’ dire situation. “King Abdullah has issued a decree giving them permanent jobs but the ministries are putting up obstacles and conditions to delay their appointment. This is affecting the lives of these teachers, who are citizens of this country,” he told Arab News.
Al-Harbi said that the 9,000 unemployed teachers are distributed in various parts of the Kingdom, adding that they are specialized in various topics, including science and mathematics. “Some of us even hold master’s degrees. It is unfortunate that we are not getting jobs in a country that sends billions of dollars in aid to other countries, while the ministry tells us they don’t have budget to appoint us.”
She wanted the ministry to give them permanent jobs at the schools where they previously worked instead of appointing them in remote places. “I have conducted a survey upon request from Education Minister Prince Faisal bin Abdullah and found that there are about 9,000 teachers without jobs,” she said.


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