Contined from [Archives:1997/41/Culture]

October 13 1997

Front Page Students Beat Teachers…
Over the last two weeks alone, there were 26 cases of assault by students against teachers, leading to one death, hospitalization and major trauma. In three different circulars, the General Union of Educational Professions urged the Ministers of Education, and Interior to do something. There was no response. During the period 8-11 October, the Union called on teachers to protest the situation by attaching a warning label on their arms. Still there does not seem to be any substantive response. The Union is planning to call for a general strike of all schools. In a meeting that brought together the administrative board of the Sana’a office of the union, the director-general of education in Sana’a city, the principals and deputy principals of the schools in Sana’a, the problem was discussed and the following decisions were atken: 1- To coordinate contact with the security organs of the state. 2- To sack all the students who are involved in assaults against teachers. 3- To take full punitive legal action against the criminal behavior of the culprits 3- To go on a full strike as from October 12th until such time as the teachers rights are protected. 4- To inform the general public on the gravity of such behavior. 5- To call on the Prime Minister to speed up the enactment of the law concerning teachers and the teaching profession. “The worst thing about it is that some of the aggressive students and their fathers or brothers are released shortlt after they were arrested following the assault incident in my school,” said Tawfik Al-Shami, the principal of Ibn Majid Secondary School. He added that “teachers are a very sad lot for, in addition to the aggression of the students and their fathers or brothers, they are badly paid and have to ecke out a living in the lowest strata of society.” During registration of new students at the Hafsah School for girls, the father of one of the students who could not get his daughter registered due to lack of seats, bad mouthed a feamle teacher and threw his daughter’s papers in her face. The school’s principal, Ms. Aisha Al-Dhafari pointed out that the father was apprehended by the police and released after five minutes only. “Fatima the teacher was reduced to tears and became badly shaken,” said Ms. Al-Dhafari adding, “she had to be comforted and consoled.” Hafsah School for girls has more then 4,000 students. “The parents just don’t understand that there a limit to the number of students we can take.”