Several women expatriate teachers here say they are relieved after completing job interviews with officials from the Ministry of Education. Many had been fearful and nervous but said the friendly officials made them feel at ease at the sessions last Sunday. Teachers with problems verifying their degrees were given two months to do so. Shazia Youness, a teacher at an international school, said: "Before the interview I was really tense but the officials from the Education Ministry were excellent. They were very helpful and conducted the interviews in a friendly manner." Youness said the officials asked her several questions about her qualifications and teaching methods. "I must say that the teachers who have not gone through the process shouldn't panic or be worried." Nashwa Saeed told Arab News that the officials were "humble and helpful." They asked general questions about school subjects, ways to control students, dealing with special cases, and what the Saudi flag means to them, she said. "I think the interviews went well, the way the Education Ministry is dealing with things is great. They are also giving teachers time to verify their degrees," she said. Padma Hariharan, director and head of Novel International Group of Institutions, said the ministry was able to complete interviews for posts at eight schools. "It's a very tough job for the officials of the ministry. They are friendly but not lenient." She said officials wanted teachers to verify their documentation and asked various questions to test their knowledge of Saudi Arabia's flag, culture, people and food. This was followed by questions on teaching and learning patterns. The teachers also had to fill out forms with all their personal details and academic qualifications. Hariharan said the process would have been faster if forms were e-mailed to the schools before the interviews. "But the bottom line is that everything was handled super well. The quality of the interviews was not compromised and we were all made to feel that our contributions are needed to improve education in Saudi Arabia," she said.
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