(MENAFN - Arab News) No measures have been taken for implementation of the Human Resources Development Fund's (HRDF) participation in paying Saudi private school teachers' salary, according to the Ministry of Education's director for private education.
A decision issued in June 2011 by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah said that the Ministry of Education would issue a new contract that forces private schools to pay Saudi teachers a minimum of SR5,600 a month. The decision confirmed that the law, in cooperation with the HRDF, would come into force in the new Hijra year, 1433, which started on Nov. 26.
Saudi male and female teachers have expressed their anger over the delay of the participation of the HRDF in supplementing their salaries. Saudi teachers are still waiting for the decision to be implemented, with no clear vision about their future.
"We have to receive an official statement from the Ministry of Education's head department, after which we will arrange several meetings with the Human Resources Fund and school directors in order to facilitate the procedures," director of the private education department Amal Radwan said. "Unfortunately, this announcement appeared widely in the media, but nothing official happened up to now."
According to Radwan, the department cannot take any steps unless it receives an official statement, something she does not expect to happen in the coming few months.
Arab News spoke to private school owners, who also confirmed that no statement had been issued by the Ministry of Education or the HRDF to implement the decision.
Rafa Binladin, head of the private schools committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and owner of Al-Bayan schools in Jeddah, confirmed that there had been no increase in Saudi teachers' salaries.
"We have heard several times about participation of the Human Resources Fund in paying teachers' salaries, but we have not received an official statement yet," she said. "Most teachers have started asking when they will sign the new contracts and receive higher salaries."
According to her, the uncertainty makes the teachers angrier, but "we can do nothing until we receive an official statement from the Fund," she said.
A report issued by the Ministry of Education in 2011 confirmed that new contracts would ensure the rights of Saudi teachers and increase job opportunities for more than 39,000 Saudi teachers. It also stated that the HRDF would equally share the payment of teachers with private schools during the first five years. "However," stated Rabiha Attar, owner of Rawdat Al-Sighar private school in Jeddah, "we haven't received any intimation from them yet."
She added, "We know very well how teachers are suffering from the low wages, but we cannot do anything but wait for the implementation of the new decisions."
Noura Al-Malki, a Saudi teacher working at a private school in Jeddah, confirmed that the school had been paying her a salary of SR2,000 for three years. She complained about the long working hours and the low salary.
"Despite the fact that I have been working for the school for three years, they refuse to increase my salary. Now we cannot raise our voices, because we are waiting for the king's decision to be implemented," she said.
Huda Al-Jehani, a teacher at a private school in Jeddah, said that they were waiting for the new decision with unclear view about the future. "We trust what the king announced, but we need to hear an official statement that explains us the undue delay," she said.