News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Unskilled workers can stay for 6 years: Al Ka'abi 

 Abu Dhabi: 08 June: Unskilled foreign workers and domestic help will be allowed a maximum stay of six years in the UAE, the Minister of Labour said yesterday.

Speaking to Gulf News from Geneva, Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi said a total of 2 million unskilled workers will be considered "temporary contractual workers under an agreement with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)".

"The UAE will receive an official document from the IOM recognising the change of the workers' position from being immigrants to temporary contractual workers," Al Ka'abi said.

"This will allow the country to proceed with rules making the maximum stay of workers six years an initial stay of 3 years to be renewed only once for a similar period," he said.


CBSE scholarships for single girls 

 Dubai: 08 June: Girls in schools affiliated to India's Central Board of Secondary Education will now have to mention whether they are single girl children while filling Grade X examination forms to avail themselves of a scholarship if they get 60 per cent and above in the board examinations.

Ashok Ganguly, Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), who was on a visit to the UAE, told Gulf News this will come into effect from this year.

"A pupil who is a single girl child and scores 60 per cent and above in Grade X will be provided with Rs500 (Dh44) per month for two years in Grade XI and XII," said Ganguly.

"There are possibilities that the scheme will be extended to graduation and other professional courses like engineering."



Teacber accused for bullying students

sHARJAH: 08 June: A teacher from a top French school is facing allegations that she bullied a four-year-old boy by pulling his ears and hair, spanking him and making him stand in the corner facing the wall.
The teacher – who cannot be named for legal reasons – is due to be interviewed by Sharjah prosecutors who will decide how a court case will proceed.

She is said to have embarked on a seven-month campaign of relentless victimisation leaving young Max – who is a child model – in floods of tears and having to sleep with his parents, his mother Marie Bracke said.

Bracke and her supporting witnesses were interviewed by Sharjah prosecutors on Monday.

Bracke, herself an art teacher at the school, said she had complained for months about the abuse to the school’s headteacher.

She said: “This teacher was pulling his hair and ears and spanking him. How can a small child lie? Other teachers saw him forced to stand facing the wall and they said so.

“My son was screaming and crying. He did not want to go to school because he was so afraid. It went on from September to March. It has been a nightmare. My son has not been to school now for two-and-a-half months.

“He was such a happy child, but now he is so scared, he has to sleep with his mum and dad again. He even puts messages in envelopes that he gives to people or hides them under my pillows.

“He really does not understand why he is not at school anymore, with his classmates or why I have been crying. He thinks that he has done something bad. It is such a crime.” When Marie went to pick her son up from the school section in Sharjah on March 28 she found him standing completely on his own facing the wall, it is alleged.

The teacher told Marie that Max had been behaving aggressively in class. But psychologists’ reports, seen by Emirates Today, do not corroborate these claims.

Marie complained again and this time was given a handwritten note by school bosses informing her that she should no longer come to work.

Neither she nor Max have been to school since. The school said Max would not be allowed to change to another class and it was unacceptable to the family to send him back to the teacher.

Marie herself says she has not actually been formally sacked.

In addition to the child abuse claim, she wants the school to return Dh10,000 for the deposit she paid for the summer term and for the discount she gets as a member of staff.

A spokeswoman for the French school said the institution had no comment to make.

The case continues.

New cards will replace all identification documents

UAE - 08 June: A senior official at the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) last night revealed details of new identity cards that will be used throughout the UAE.
Mohammed Shamsi, Marketing and Public Relations chief of Eida, said the card will be compulsory for everyone. All residents who are older than 15 will have to apply for them, he said.

The ID card will serve as a multi-purpose smart card, which will replace other current identity documents.

It will be the only identification document accepted by government and private institutions for the verification of identities.

The card will be helpful in dayto-day identification and authentication purposes with the government and other sectors and will eliminate the need for people to present passports or other official documents Following the announcement of the new laws governing the ID card on Tuesday, Emirates Today received a number of calls seeking clarification about the benefits of the card, its availability and the cards validity period.

The ID card will be valid for five years before it will have to be replaced with a new card.

During this period all personal data of the holder can be updated on the chip.

Expatriates need to renew their ID cards when they go for visa renewals.

Asked for more details on who will bear the cost of the card in case of blue-collar workers, Shamsi said in some cases it will be borne by the sponsor and otherwise as per the existing practice or labour law requirements.

He said there could also be a number of concessions for blue collar workers, such as making allowances for them to have the card on yearly basis or making the card renewals biennial instead.

The card will cost Dh500 and if it is lost, Dh300 will be charged to replace it.

Dr Saeed Al Dhaheri, Director General, has said Eida will take all possible measures to create awareness among the residents about the necessity and importance of having an ID card and they will adopt easy and friendly procedures at registration centres so that people can easily register for the ID cards.

Capital plans parking meters

ABU DHABI — 08 June : The Abu Dhabi Municipality has embarked on a pilot project to instal parking meters in the capital.

The project is part of a new user-friendly Parking Management Programme (PMP) for the entire city to help eliminate congestion and ease movement of vehicular traffic, said Engineer Saif Ahmed Mohammed Butti Al Qubaesi, Assistant Under Secretary for Roads and Technical Services.

“The city of Abu Dhabi like all capitals of the world is going through a rapid phase of development, with a rising population, burgeoning industrial and commercial infrastructure and real estate development all generating a heavy movement of traffic, causing bottlenecks and congestion in some parts of the city. This is not only causing problems for vehicle owners in terms of obstructions to smooth and quick movement and access to places of work, shopping malls and restaurants, but also making it extremely difficult in some cases to find proper parking places," Eng Qubaisi noted.

He added that parking was not just a headache to private car owners, but even the police and civil defence authorities were finding it difficult to reach venues and other sites when an emergency situation arose.

He said the municipality was fully aware of the problems and has already taken several measures to improve the situation. To solve the problem, the municipality has built six underground parking lots for 3,338 cars at various crowded spots in the city, providing suitable and secure parking facilities at affordable rentals.

“These underground parking lots situated in Hamdan Street behind Ministry of Health and Liwa Centre, Hammed Centre, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, near Zakir Hotel, and behind Arab Bank and the under construction car park near Al Noor Hospital, have to large extent resolved the parking problem, but we are aware that more is needed," added Mr Qubaesi.

Referring to other measures taken to ease the situation, he pointed out that the municipality has stopped renewing parking permits for private parking and has started to remove the expired spaces which are now illegal.

Giving details of the PMP project, he said there were several main points including redesigning and re-routing (one-way) the existing network of some roads and by-lanes to provide maximum possible paid parking spots, installing metres to regularize parking time, issuing special permits for residential parking at reduced rates in residential zones, and deploying a team of qualified and trained parking inspectors to efficiently manage the system .

There will also be a website to help and guide car owners, drivers and motorists about the new parking system.

The new project has been designed for the entire city of Abu Dhabi.

Initially it will be implemented on a pilot basis in Zone E-8, which stretches between Khalifa Street and Hamdan Street in the North and South respectively and the Al Zafra street on the West and the Al Najda on the East.

Said Qubaesi: "Surveys done by us have shown that this area is under heavy pressure, lacking proper and accessible parking places. We are working to re-design the streets in this zone; it will be the testing ground for our pilot project installing parking metres."

This project will provide the basis for PMP to further expand the programme to reach other areas of the city in order to eliminate the problem, said Qubaesi .

At a later stage when all major roads and streets have been provided with parking metres, and end-users have become familiar with the system, the municipality will introduce an advance and easy system of payments through credit cards and mobile phones.



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