Education After 38 Years: What is the Outcome? [Archives:2000/41/Focus]

October 9 2000

Mohammed Hatem Al-Qadhi
One of the main goals of the 26th September Revolution was, and is still, fighting against illiteracy and ignorance in the community which the Immams of Yemen were interested to maintain to keep the society under its grip. Therefore, it was a priority for the leadership of the revolution to initiate a well-established educational system in view of the fact that education is a key factor of development. The Egyptians gave a substantial help to the Yemeni society for many Egyptian teachers were sent to Yemen to help illuminate its people. The level of education then was quite satisfactory.
Unfortunately, it seems these days that our educational system is on its last leg. There is no one-to-one correspondence between education and development; they are not going parallel. A lot of Yemeni graduates are spread here and there in the look out for jobs to help them survive. The last case happened with the students of oil studies. Yemen is in bad need of these graduates but the deadly routine of bureaucracy and the role of evils like favoritism, nepotism and the like have shattered the dreams of these students. Their case is still hanging in the balance. However, our ministries like that of education prefer to have contracts with Arabs and pays them in dollar. God knows the reasons behind this.
Still worse, with the drive of privatization, private schools and universities have been in high gear to advertise themselves, expressing their willingness to serve the folks. However, most of these institutions have not appeared to be better. Rather, some of them seem to be flats for selling certificates, graduating ignorants. Of course, this is not restricted to private institutions. Governments are also more perverted where even university certificates can even be forged and sold. Besides, the level of most students in both the two institutions (private and public) is deteriorating dramatically.
Well guys, education is really in an impasse and everybody admits this claim. Therefore, it is high time the government realized this plight and launched a campaign to reform this important sector. The World Bank and other donor countries should also focus in their programs of aid to Yemen on education. Otherwise, our educational institutions would be producing ignorants and the real development we aspire for will be something of the past. Have you got the message guys?