Aden College of Education: 31 Years of Enlightenment [Archives:2001/14/Culture]

April 2 2001

Aden College of Education is one of the leading educational institutions in the city. It was established in 1970. Since then, it has been referred to by different names such as High College of Education, College of Science, Arts & Education and presently the Aden College of Education, similar to those in Hadhramaut, Shabwah, etc. Below is a short interview with the Dean of the Aden College of Education Mr. Awadh Hussein Al-Bakry.
Q: Can you give us a brief account of the history of the College?
A: The Aden College of Education was established in 1970. It was then called the High College of Education. When Aden University was established in 1975 the name was changed to the College of Education. For the twentieth anniversary of its establishment the college was given the name of The College of Science, Arts & Education according to the communiqué brought by the College Council to the University, in which it explained the reasons for the new nomenclature. Among the reasons were the launching of a Masters Program in Geography, Philosophy and Psychology in 1991, Education and English on 1992, Physics in 1993 and Arabic in 1996. The name Aden College of Education was given to distinguish it form those in other cities which all belong to the Aden University.
In 1998, 1999 new departments were opened. These included Islamic Studies, Body Education, and French. This year we are planing to announce Doctorate Programs in Arabic and Masters in Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology.
Q: How many have graduated from this college since its establishment?
A: Since establishment the college has graduated 9092 BA holders. The University has also graduated 785 Diploma holders up to 1990, which was, before the Diploma Program was moved to the other cities. As far as the higher studies are concerned, 91 students have got their masters plus 19 other students have been awarded their PhD (Doctorate).
Q: How do students benefit from the College library? Do the lecture rooms have the same standards as the other in those universities?
A: Students do generally need references in their specialization. The library here provides them with what they may need. Students can read here or even borrow the books. This library is considered the biggest in the University. It consists of two floors; one for science and the other for the humanitarian studies and languages. There are also rooms for computer and photographers. Titles in the library were increased from 43124 in August 2000 to 47331 in 2001.
The lecture rooms are just like those of the other colleges except the large numbers of students in every class and the writings on the walls by some students.
Q: The largest number of students concentrate in the Department of English. What plans do you have to improve this department?
A: The Department of English will be moved to the new academic building as soon as it is finished. The new department will contain a room for the department’s chairman, a room for the teaching staff, a library and a room for the audio systems. The next step will be providing three audio-laboratories.
Q: How do you treat the students who cannot pay the fees?
A: Let me first remind you that the fees is only 3500 rials, which is charged only once at the beginning of the academic session. Secondly, the College does not have problems of this kind. However, part of the activity-fees are used to help some students who can not afford studies after they present proof of their inability.
Q: Does the College depend on foreign teaching staff?
A: There are 205 Yemeni associate teaching staff and 10 foreigners for the graduate studies programs. This shows that the College of Education depends heavily on the local cadre who form 95% of the total teaching staff.
Q: What are the problems and difficulties you have encountered?
A: One of the problems is the rehabilitation work which is supposed to have been finished a long time ago. We are about to receive the rest of the building for the college after the rehabilitation work is over, despite the fact that they lack some essential things like central air conditioning system.
Q: Any last word?
A: I urge my colleagues and students to ensure the proper use of the college equipment and try to develop and improve the academic standards.
Dr. Fawziah Salem, Head of the Department of English said that the department graduated 219 students in 1995-1996, 342 in 1996-1997, 424 in 1997-1998, 408 in 1998-1999, 405 in 1999-2000 and 334 in 2000-2001. Students study different subjects such as Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing at the first level in order to improve their language skills, she added.
In response to a question about the the deteriorating level of graduates of the Department she attributed the reason to a lack of practice and shyness on the part of the students in regard to committing mistakes, which makes them avoid speaking English.