From: SHAH FAISAL KHAN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, May 7, 2013 at 6:01 AM
Subject: [aijazahmedit] "Schools in need of 9,000 female PE teachers-KSA"
Schools in need of 9,000 female PE teachers
JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN
Tuesday 7 May 2013
Last Update 7 May 2013 1:30 am
Initial estimates have revealed that 3,000 private schools are in need of 9,000 teachers for physical education following new regulations and controls by the Education Ministry.
Speaking to a local newspaper, a source at the Labor Ministry said the labor system allows the recruitment of foreign labor in the absence of Saudi applicants.
Girl students at public schools have demanded equal treatment with private schools with regard to the teaching of physical education. While boys in both public and private schools have physical education as part of their curriculum, girls do not have such facilities. "Private schools have attracted students from public schools because of strong physical education programs," said Reem Saleh, a student.
Hamad Al-Baadi, an educational expert, said that exempting public schools from the decision of the Labor Ministry were made on the grounds that these schools are not qualified to handle the needs of such services owing to lack of staff.
"There should be plans and coordination with the Higher Education Ministry to open up disciplines of physical education so that graduates of this specialty can teach the subject later," he said.
Fatima Jarallah, a teacher at a public school, said girls have equal rights to physical education and they should have sports classes and facilities at their schools. This should apply not only to private schools but also to public schools.
"We are happy that the Education Ministry has paid attention to this problem and allowed girl students to have physical education, but they should allow it in public schools as well. The issue of teachers can be solved if we hire trained teachers from outside the country because we don't have Saudi female PE teachers," she added.
Ala'a Abdullah, a university student, told Arab News that they don't have PE as a major subject at the universities and that many Saudi girls travel to the UAE, Egypt and even to India to learn physical education.
"We should have this subject at our universities as a major. The absence of sports activities in schools and universities is a big factor accounting for obesity among girls. The lack of teachers in the field is another issue. If the Ministry of Education plans it properly and makes PE compulsory in schools, it will decrease many health problems." She added that the rate of obesity in girls has increased in the past five years, so there needs to be an action plan to counter it.