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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Principal 'struck student for not tucking his shirt in'

Dubai: Oct. 04: A 15-year-old pupil has claimed that he was hit on the neck by his school principal for not tucking his shirt in.

"He ordered me out of the classroom and asked me to tuck in my shirt. As I was on my way out he struck me on the back of my neck. I turned to see what was wrong but said nothing in return," said the pupil, Russell Crasto.

When contacted, S.S.U. Tabrez, principal of Emirates English Speaking School, Dubai, said the pupil was ordered out as he was trying to tuck in his shirt in the classroom.

"He was trying to tuck in his shirt in the classroom which, according to me, was inappropriate and so he was asked to step out," said Tabrez.

The principal, however, refused to comment when asked whether he had struck the pupil on the neck. Russell said the principal embarrassed him further in front of the whole class by asking him to pin his shirt to his trousers.

"The class is witness to what took place. He said 'Tell your mum to give you some pins so that you can pin your shirt to your trousers. He added that I should change my way of studying and behaviour," said Russell.

Rosario Crasto, Russell's father, said all his attempts to get in touch with Tabrez had failed.

"I tried to get in touch with the principal, but his secretary did not put me through. I am shocked by the manner in which he treated my son.

"When my son told me about the incident I was obviously very angry. I tried getting in touch with the school authorities. But when I was met with no response I approached the media."

"My son is in grade 10 which is a competitive year. Just imagine the psychological impact such an incident can have on a pupil. I have also got the incident verified by my son's classmates," said his mother.


Driving schools see red over no-objection certificate rule 

Dubai: Oct. 04:  Driving schools were shocked to receive a circular from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), saying an applicant must obtain a no-objection certificate (NoC) from sponsor before applying for lessons.

"We were shocked to receive this circular as the issue was not discussed with us," said Saif Ahmad Belhasa, Chairman and Managing Director of Belhasa Driving Centre.

He said the decision would have a negative impact on the industry and frustrate the people running the business and the applicants in case they fail to get an NoC from their employers. Belhasa said it is a big industry and such a decision should not be taken unilaterally.

Apart from three main driving schools, there are about 26 small driving schools in Dubai. There are around 3,000 vehicles training more than 10,000 people every day in the city. People from 163 nationalities have obtained driving licences in Dubai.

"There was no need for such a rule as it was abandoned about four years ago," he said.

"One of the reasons [for abandoning a similar rule about fours years ago] was that some sponsors were exploiting employees and were taking money from them in return of an NoC," he said.

It is against basic human rights to stop anyone from obtaining a driving licence and letting people at the mercy of the sponsor. Employees working for good companies will not face a problem getting an NoC. The low-income group of people, including labourers, will find it difficult to get such NoCs, he said. "Everyone has a right to make progress and the driving licence is the first ladder for them in Dubai."

Within three days of the new rule coming into effect on October 1, driving schools in Dubai have reported a more than 40 per cent reduction in number of applications.

"We have started losing business drastically because 60 to 70 per cent of our applicants belong to the lower-income group of people," said Belhasa.

A spokesperson from Emirates Driving School said the business has gone down by more than 40 per cent in just three days. "We were given no explanation why this new rule has been imposed."

Applicants: Documents required to apply

Five photographs
Eye test report
Original passport and passport copy
No objection certificate (NoC) from the sponsor (new rule)
If an applicant is on father's, husband's sponsorship then the applicant needs all the above mentioned documents and passport copy of the sponsor. 




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