In this exclusive interview with Edarabia, Zen Khan, Director of Zen Professional Development, tackles the main challenges in teacher development and recruitment, and explains why moral education is an integral part of a well-rounded education.
1. In your opinion, why is Moral Education Programme vital for both teachers and students?
I believe moral education is vital for everyone as it creates the foundations to become a member of society that has morals and values such as manners, respect, passion and empathy. These values need to be taught through education as schools are the key to teaching children life skills.
We have a global community in the UAE; the Moral Education Program provides a platform to learn about each other and support the community to become good, caring human beings who value tolerance.
2. Having spent years in the education industry, what have you learned and what are your plans ahead for Zen Professional Development?
As a young woman growing up in a small community in the UK, I was not encouraged to study, I didn’t have the support of my family nor the encouragement from my teachers to drive my learning.
My passion for education arose after the arrival of my first son and I have not stopped learning since. I have learned that education is the key to success for us all, education is important more so now than ever before. The world is becoming a smaller place and technological advancement is taking over everyone’s life. Having a well-rounded education will enable us and future generations to become productive global citizens who can contribute towards improving communities and making the world a better place.
The Zen Professional Development team and I have been working extremely hard over the last year to provide schools with ethically priced CPD. We have supported over 500 teachers in Dubai to obtain their teacher permit and offer weekly CPD, including Inset days, Safeguarding, Behaviour Management, and Data Analysis.
We have many upcoming projects including The Middle East EYFS/KG Teacher Conference on April 19-20 at Dusit Thani, Dubai. We are very excited to be working with GL Education to deliver CPD on Data Analysis.
3. In your opinion, what are the key issues/challenges involving teaching recruitment in the UAE’s current education landscape?
In the current landscape, schools are tightening their purse strings when it comes to recruitment, and therefore the job market for teachers is becoming highly competitive. Schools have limited budgets due to low student numbers and a freeze in school fees, therefore, they spend their money more stringently and unfortunately, the 5-star packages that were offered previously are no longer available. Our partner schools are now offering packages that are in line with the current market and providing staff with opportunities to learn and develop within their role, which is proving highly effective.
4. Can you tell us more about your session at GESS titled “Moral Education CPD”?
We were inundated with registrations and have over 30 attendees for this session. The session was very interactive and covered the importance of character building, how schools can promote good character and teaching the moral education program in schools. The session is part of the KHDA-approved, 6 classroom-based training days that we deliver for the 6 mandatory training courses (teacher permit).
About Zen Khan
Zen Khan has a proven track record delivering training and large scale recruitment services. Having worked as a Vice Principal/School Leader in the UK and internationally, she is the proud owner of ZEN Professional Development and Education 1st Recruitment & Consultancy.
A mother of 4 boys and committed educationalist, she understands the support children need to achieve their potential and inspiration required from teachers. Zen has a first-hand experience in leading training and talent acquisition programs which translated into Education 1st, ZEN PD and a solid team, ensuring recruitment and learning & development is done right the first time.
A graduate of Sheffield University (HR and Management Studies), she later acquired the NPQSL. Zen is a resilient leader who understands the importance of collaboration, polite service, and support. Zen has ambitious plans for growth, underpinned by a commitment to high educational standards, quality, and outcomes for children.
Mar 2019 – Source