British school to reinstate teachers

Updated 12 November 2013

British school to reinstate teachers

The Jeddah Prep and Grammar School (The International British/Dutch School) in Jeddah is planning to reinstate seven Saudi teachers after their dismissal in the absence of the principal of the school, Arshad Iqbal Ashraf.
Ashraf told Arab News that the decision was taken while he was on vacation and that he was neither consulted nor informed about it.
“The seven teachers who were terminated have to have their jobs back. They are excellent teachers and their dismissal was unfair. Now that I am back, I will ensure that they are reinstated as soon as possible,” he said.
The Saudi teachers were fired from the school “for no reason,” and had to leave immediately without their belongings or even abayas.
“I think it is the interim committee which is to blame for the incident. After all, the new head teacher was not qualified for the job and neither did she have a valid visa to work at the school,” said Ashraf. “She shouldn’t have been hired in the first place.”
He said that the decision of terminating the teachers should not have been taken in his absence, because the board had appointed him as head teacher. Moreover, he was only on vacation and had not been dismissed.
He explained that the school management had created a new committee while he was away, which did not fulfill the requirement of having British parents as part of the committee according to the rules laid out by the Ministry of Education.
“Although it was a temporary committee lasting for only three months, they should have still followed the regulations of the ministry,” he said.
Ashraf also complained that he had recruited more than nine teachers from the UK on the official visas of the school but the management was unable to provide them iqamas (work permits) on time so they had to go back.
“We spend a lot of time and effort to hire teachers and it is sad that they have to leave their jobs. I am trying to bring them back now,” he said. “The school has been running smoothly for almost 46 years and our students are in high positions in well-known universities around the world,” said Ashraf. “We select our teachers not only for their qualifications but also for their moral conduct.”
He said that he was very disappointed but that he would not let anyone ruin the school’s reputation. “My first priority is to stabilize the educational environment as this incident has given the school a lot of negative publicity,” he said.
The Labor Court has ordered the reinstatement of the seven teachers and for Ashraf to remain head teacher of the school.

 

Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly named the school concerned.


Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 03 August 2020

Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

  • Capital gets a facelift as Vision 2030 program works to plant 7.5 million trees
  • Most of the tree species used in the project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care

RIYADH: The Green Riyadh project, one of the world’s largest urban greening initiatives, is rapidly bearing fruit as it transforms main roads in the capital.

Major thoroughfares, including King Khalid, Makkah and King Salman roads, are getting a facelift as part of the Vision 2030 goal of improving quality of life in the city.
Dr. Fahad Al-Mana, a professor of Ornamental Plants, Gardens and Green Areas at King Saud University, told Arab News that native tree species being used for the project include Ziziphus spina-christi, Acacia gerrardii and Prosopis cineraria, commonly known as the ghaf tree.
According to Al-Mana, the trees can survive in harsh desert conditions and will grow without intensive agricultural care.
“Most of the tree species used in the planting of the Green Riyadh project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care,” he said.
Environmental conditions in Riyadh were taken into account during the tree selection process. The species can grow to a large size in only three years.
“In some locations, they have moved large 3-year-old local trees that were taken care of in plant nurseries to new locations where they are growing successfully,” Al-Mana said.
Green Riyadh will increase the amount of greenery in the city and augment the green cover in the Saudi capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees around the city’s main features and facilities.
The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

FASTFACTS

• The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

• The project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.

• Green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030

“The aim of planting trees in the streets is to provide shade and moderate the temperature, especially in summer, which contributes to the purification of air and reduces environmental pollution by protecting the city from sand storms, winds and dust. In addition, it gives an aesthetic view and the element of nature enters the city and nearby structures,” said Al-Mana.
He added that trees, especially those planted in central street islands, must have long trunks and high branches to avoid hindering the movement of pedestrians and cars. The trunk must measure at least 3 to 4 meters and the size of the trees planted must be proportional to the width of the island.
Al-Mana said green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030.
According to the Green Riyadh website, the project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per
day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.
Al-Mana said the Green Riyadh project will also reduce carbon dioxide and impurity levels in the city.
“Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides,” he said.