The ratio of expatriate teachers in private boys schools has crossed 60 percent despite repeated requests by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to nationalize the teaching jobs in these schools, according to local daily Al-Watan on Saturday.
The ratio, according to officials in charge of private education, has not exceeded 10 percent in girls schools.
Malik Talib, chairman of the committee for private education at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), attributed the large number of expatriate teachers in the boys schools to non-availability of qualified Saudi teachers especially in science and mathematics.
"There are not enough Saudi teachers to cover the large number of private schools in the Kingdom," he said.
He said the dropout rate among expatriate students due to the departure of their parents on exit-only visas following the imposition of dependent levy and other taxes was not more than 10 percent.
Talib, however, has said about 30 percent of the students in major international schools have dropped out amid the ongoing exodus of expatriate families from the Kingdom.
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The chairman said, "The financial commitments of private and international schools are on the rise including the exorbitant fees for renewing the labor permits of expatriate teachers. In view of the rising costs, these schools may either increase their tuition or close down."
Talib said the rate of Saudi teachers in private boys schools was hardly 40 percent but their ratio was close to 90 percent in girls schools.
He said the private and international schools housed in rented buildings were repeatedly warned to find permanent buildings for themselves but so far many of them have not acquiesced.
"In light of this, we may be obliged to shut down these schools," he warned.
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