Distance education and home study scheme:A proposal [Archives:2006/961/Education]

July 3 2006

Dr. R.S.Sharma
Professor of English,
Faculty of Languages,
Sana'a University, Sana'a

The desire to gain B.A. and M.A. degrees is widespread in Yemeni society, and the number of candidates is very large every year. While this is an encouraging sign, it definitely creates problems as regards classroom teaching and curriculum administration.

Moreover, a fairly large number of students are doing some job in order to earn a living. Again this is a welcome development in the society, but it has certainly made absenteeism in regular classes very common and is evidently responsible for poor learning achievement in real terms.

The above scheme is being proposed as a remedy to the problems outlined above.

Programmes of distance education in fully developed form are already in operation in India, and other countries.


The scheme will be initially available for B.A. and M.A. courses in English, Faculty of Languages.

Establishing a Department

Until a Department of Distance Education and Home Study is established, a Center for the purpose could be started, but right from the beginning it must be provided with an office, adequate secretarial staff and computer-internet facilities.

Fees and Other Charges

Conditions and eligibility requirements as well as fees and other charges to be paid by the candidates may be finalized by the appropriate authority.

Functions of the Department

Among other things, the Department/Center shall arrange for preparation and distribution to candidates of handouts, home assignments and other information.

Contact Sessions

The Department./ center shall organize a contact session of not less than 15 days for intensive direct teaching of the distance learners. The learners must come to Sana'a University to attend the classes in which 90% attendance is absolutely obligatory. The exact timing of lecture hours can be finalized according to the convenience of the learners.

The courses of study

The syllabus for distance education may overlap with but will not use the same as that for on-campus instruction. The curriculum also is bound to be different.


The final semester examination shall be arranged separately for the distance education candidates.

Remuneration and Honoraria

The teachers and experts will be paid for preparing teaching materials, evaluating home assignments and examination papers and for delivering lectures during the contact sessions.

The rates of payment under each head shall be decided by the appropriate authority.

The rates of payment for members of the regular faculty, if any, shall be different from those for the invited experts or teachers.

Expected Results

This scheme is likely to be welcomed by thousands of Yemeni men and women who cannot leave their job or occupation and are yet eager to gain higher degrees for their career advancement.

This scheme will certainly have a wholesome indirect effect on on-campus instruction. It will help us improve and maintain standards in higher studies in both on-campus and off-campus sectors.

This scheme is expected to open up new avenues in educational research, materials production and use of educational technology-especially computer and internet.

Financial Assistance

I believe, if the new idea is effectively presented, it will get prompt financial support from Arab and international sources as well as world educational bodies and charitable organizations.

Loans on easy terms will also be available from big international and welfare oriented banks.