The Ministry of Education, on Sunday, issued an announcement to recruit foreign primary teachers due to a shortage of local educators.
The announcement marks the first instance in several years since foreign teachers were sought to teach primary students.
Permanent Secretary of Education Ahmed Ali attributed the decision to the six-month period allocated for maternity leave as well as several other reasons.
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) previously decided to recruit temporary employees to assume the duties of teachers taking maternity leave. Several other institutions have followed the procedure.
According to the Permanent Secretary, the difficulty of recruiting locals to fill primary level teaching positions have increased year by year. Expressing concern over the issue, he guaranteed that the Education Ministry was working to solve the problem.
A principal at a school in the capital city of Male' confirmed the difficulty of filling empty posts if any local primary teachers resigned from their jobs. He highlighted low wages and lack of social respect for teachers as root causes of the issue.
"Teaching was previously one of the best-paid fields. They were well respected. It was noted as an esteemed position. Now, it is seen as low-grade work".
As per statistics revealed by the Education Ministry at the beginning of 2019, over 7,900 local teachers are employed in 212 government-run schools compared to 1,900 foreign teachers.