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Looking for opinions - Computer Science teaching opportunity in the UAE

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by sv591, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. sv591

    sv591 New commenter

    Let me tell you about my situation first.

    I am an Indian national and I have an engineering degree and currently pursuing PhD in the UK. I have £16000 debt in form of a loan to be repaid to my family (so yeah in dire need of money).

    Recently I was interviewed for a teaching position in UAE. As I did more research about teaching in UAE I am having a dilemma regarding the opportunity.

    I don’t know the outcome of the interview yet but I want to have my decision ready when I get to know the outcome. If they decide not to offer the position this won’t be necessary at all but what if they offer the position? - That thought has been making me crazy for past few days.

    Let me be a Positive Peter and tell all the good things.
    - Salary - 16,000 AED (£3,300) per month
    - I love teaching and it’s a job and will allow me to pay back the debt.
    - As I am having a hard time finding employment in the UK, I should just take whatever is offered. (Unemployment is partly due to lack of skills and partly due to me requiring visa to work in the UK)

    Now let me be a Negative Nathan and pardon me in advance for this rant.
    - I spoke to a couple of teachers in Dubai on LinkedIn and they are like workload is crazy high. The vibe from them was like do it if you don't have anything else - which is not a positive vibe.
    - I read stories on forums that my future employer have reputation to be laid back (many offers were delayed in the last year due to VIsa and other things) and very rigid sometimes (e.g work location within UAE)
    - Personal Dilemma - I took up an unfunded PhD position out of desperation thinking there is nothing better out there. I think this is recurring now in form of this situation. Sometimes I feel that Bachelors + PhD can get another job if I can hang on little longer.

    Many things may seem like conflicting and I agree that is why I am seeking outsider’s opinion. Please feel free to provide your opinion would be happy to hear what you have to say.

  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    As an Indian national you will be treated like a slave or at best a servant. If you have a formal teaching qualification I would look to Asia for work.

    But if you need the money desperately the salary is good only if free accommodation is provided.
  3. Penny10p

    Penny10p Occasional commenter

    I have just posted on your other thread and I'm confused! Are you a computer science graduate or an engineering graduate? Unfortunately I don't think you would have a good experience in the UAE as an Indian national in the government schools because of the racism that unfortunately exists in the UAE.
  4. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    If you have the lack of skills to teach in the UK, what makes you think you have the required skills to teach at an International school?

    What is your teaching experience, as if you have very little you would be better in the UK where you will get some support to help you learn these teaching skills, I'd doubt you would get that kind of support in an International School?

    As a fellow CS teacher, you should be able to get a job in the UK pretty easily as it is hard subject to recruit for and think that might be your best option in the short term (If you can get a Visa).
  5. sv591

    sv591 New commenter

    Hi february31st,
    I don't have a teaching qualification and I haven't looked for opportunities thoroughly as yet. So I am looking for other opportunities (non-teaching mostly) but struggling to be successful in them.
    I have heard living there is expensive and 16k isn't a very good salary but the opinions are quite mixed and yeah accommodation is NOT included.

    Hi Penny10p, thank you, I am trying to PM you but looks Iike I don't have that access. Can you please PM me? Thanks again Penny10p

    Agree willow78, starting a teaching career in the UAE may not be a good idea. It's important to be in a school where I am supported. Would love to speak to you over a PM but I am not able to send them. Please PM me if you have time. Thanks again

    Thanks to all of you for sharing your opinions.
  6. Jason_Bourne_

    Jason_Bourne_ Established commenter

    Why would any decent school want to hire an unqualified teacher? If you want to become a teacher then at least become qualified in the first instance, you will become a more appealing prospect to schools. Do you even have any experience of teaching as your original posts states that you have an engineering degree and are pursing a PhD but doesn't mention anything about your work experience.
  7. sv591

    sv591 New commenter

    Hi Jason,

    Thank you for your comment. I have delivered a couple of classes in the past (25-30hrs) to A-level students and experience of being teaching assistant at the university (sorry didn't mention it in the already very long post). The job is for graduates who don't have teaching qualification and experience. There was a brief mention of teacher training on the job description.

    You have asked good questions and that certainly has been helpful, thanks again
  8. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Someone else mentioned it but be warned, Arabs treat Indians like s*** on a shoe. It is part of the national psyche. Students will show you no respect. Parents will complain about you and God help you if you are honest about the progress an Arab is making. You will be treated like a fourth class citizen by your employer and given your financial situation, you will feel trapped. Forget vague promises of training. Forget any promises of a nice apartment all paid for (what have they said about this)? It won’t happen. My advice is don’t go. And you do know that the salary is poor as well don’t you so you are not going to save very much?

    I am surprised at your position. Computer Science is in crisis in the UK because of a lack of teachers! There are bursaries for trainee Computer Science teachers. Schools are desperate to take on anyone who knows what they are doing. So apply to teach. Start researching the bursaries and different training routes (there are different pathways now, which are as confusing as hell so can’t advise how you get qualified these days). Contact schools directly and offer yourself as a Computer Science teacher and see if any think you have what it takes. Getting qualified should be your main priority, then getting experience then teach abroad, but never, ever go to a Gulf Arab country. China is an excellent option, perhaps?
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    rednelly84 and willow78 like this.
  9. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    Binaryhex is spot on here, there is a real shortage of CS teachers and even less of the good ones. I've had nightmares trying to recruit in the past and have once had no apply and had to make up a TLR position to get someone.

    Not complaining though as it makes it pretty easy to get jobs(home and abroad) and if you SMT have brains they will realise how important it is to treat you well.

    I'm presuming you teach CS, where about are you based at the moment Mr Hex?
  10. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    I decided to stop work teaching secondary kids when my last contract finished in April - behaviour, attitude, ridiculous specifications, the stupidest 'exam' ever invented in the shape of the NEA, and workload was something for other teachers to negotiate now. Since then, I've been doing voluntary work in a lovely little school in Cambodia, have done a bit of teacher training in the Midlands, have done a bit of supply teaching kindergarten kids in a primary school of all places (which is just so much fun) and have made a nuisance of myself heckling exam boards online (especially OCR) and other organisations over their sheer incompetence over Computer Science. January and early February is skiing, then back to school in Cambodia, then Japan etc etc etc. Happy days.
  11. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

  12. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    If you are talking about the GCSE OCR Facebook page, I think I might know who you are!!!!
    binaryhex likes this.
  13. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    If you have seen my frequent scathing posts on the OCR Facebook site since OFQUAL announced they were all but ditching the NEA four weeks ago, my cover is blown!! I think I must be one post away from being banned - I'm very surprised they have tolerated my posts for so long if I'm honest.

    OCR should send all their Computer Science personnel on a course for arranging a heavy drinking session in a brewery because at the moment, I can honestly say a more incompetent team I have never witnessed in 35 years of education and industry. I think those that can, teach, whilst those that can't get a job at OCR.
    willow78 likes this.
  14. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Re the original poster, your visa problem is an issue, but there may be hope:


    You should keep your eyes open for MAC announcements in the coming months as it may directly affect your ability to work in the UK. Meanwhile, get your Python skills up-to-date, join CAS and work through every programming problem you can find - there are hundreds in the CAS resources section now.
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yep, Arabs usually treat Indians badly and Arab students can be scummy. If they are not going to give you accommodation as well, then don't take the job. Salaries are not so good in the UAE these days. There seem to be more rubbishy schools around, so the OP needs to be careful that he has not been offered a lemon.
  16. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    Or programming skills, don't limit yourself to just Python, particularly if you plan to teach in KS5.
  17. sv591

    sv591 New commenter

    Hello All,
    I have made my decision to not take up the offer, irrespective of interview outcome. Your opinions and comment have been helpful. Thank you very much.

    Due to my visa status, I am NOT eligible for bursaries and hence getting qualified can be really expensive (£14000 tuition fees). One option could be teaching in A-level colleges, there PGCE is not mandatory and can be done while on the job. I am open to opportunities outside teaching as well. Hopefully, I will come across something.

    @binaryhex Thanks for the links and your comments. I will keep an eye on MAC.
  18. go4sufy

    go4sufy New commenter

    What about the interview results?
  19. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    One thinks you are being lured by the teacher salaries you have been hearing. But you have forgotten about the realities that is you are not a qualified teacher. Despite what PhD holders may think.

    Your lack of teaching qualifications are against you. Mix that with your nationality. The UAE or any ME country is not for you. For your own mental and overall welfare look elsewhere. That £3300 will not eventuate unfortunately.

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