Students gain access to education hotline in UAE


By Rayeesa Absal

Queries or complaints pertaining to education can now be lodged with a new call centre that has been established.

UAE hotlineThe ministry of education launched a toll free hotline on Thursday to receive complaints and suggestions from residents. The number to dial is 800 51115.

Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, the minister of education inaugurated the hotline’s call centre at the ministry yesterday.

The hotline will allow schools, students, teachers, parents and all other stakeholders to contact the ministry to lodge complaints, offer suggestions or to request information, the minister said.

“The callers will get the information they requested or feedback on complaints within five working days,” said Ali Mehad Al Suwaidi, the acting director general at the ministry.

Range of issues

Calls that the ministry receives range from lack of teachers in schools, to complaints about examinations or transport facilities, to request for better infrastructure and amenities, he said.

“These calls will help us to understand the areas that need improvement and channel our efforts to where it is needed.”

The call centre, manned by six people, and will answer calls in both Arabic and English.

The call operators will take down the details from the callers and will move relevant information to the concerned departments. “The hotline is a great tool for us to hear back from the community and improve the overall process of delivering education,” Al Suwaidi added.

The centre acts as an integrated information provider for all, according to Ameena Saleh, a ministry official. “In order to reach higher standards in education it is essential for schools, teachers, parents and the community to work hand in hand and contribute to the system.”

Ahmad Hussain, a telephone operator at the centre, said that during the trial run the centre received numerous calls, including less serious ones.

“One student complained about how the teacher took away his exam sheet after he spoke to a classmate during the exam, for instance,” he said.

The hotline is a positive move and will provide better accessibility to the officials, a teacher working with a private school said.

Better accessibility

The promise for an answer within five days is good because often times the wait for a response is much longer, he added.

Abdul Wahad, a Jordanian parent, said that the hotline will make it easier to raise concerns about issues fee hikes and safety of children. “Sometimes parents are not sure if a decision implemented by the school is with the knowledge and consent of the authorities. Easy access will help clear the air.”