Feminising Schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE: Cause for Concern!

Martina Dickson, Johann Le Roux

Abstract


Schools in the UAE have been undergoing radical educational reform over the past six years. Government schools are currently gender segregated from grade 1 and staffed by either male or female teachers, but not by both genders in the same school. In 2011 the Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC) announced plans to completely feminise primary schools in the emirate. Emirati male teachers represent a small minority, but one which potentially has a very powerful significance, both culturally and educationally. This paper intends to explore male pre-service teachers’ perceptions of this issue.  Six male Emirati pre-service teachers were interviewed. Our findings show that during internship, they felt that their being male and Emirati was significant and positive, and that pupils were relating to them in a unique way as a result. We found that all had been extremely positively influenced by an Emirati male teacher as school pupils. Most thought that employing a system of feminization would be detrimental to young males seeking male role models and gave examples of the way in which they had observed this. The findings of this small-scale study have potentially significant implications for educational policy-makers in Abu Dhabi and other regions in the Gulf considering school feminization.

 


Keywords


Males teachers, United Arab Emirates, feminisation, primary schools, teachertraining.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jeps.vol7iss4pp525-536

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Copyright (c) 2017 Martina Dickson, Johann Le Roux

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