Educational System Reform in Yemen.. How? [Archives:2001/21/Culture]

May 21 2001

A lecture on “Reforming the Educational System in Yemen ……… How?” was delivered by Dr. Abdullah al-Thaifani last Monday. He highlighted the importance of education as a crucial channel bringing people up and qualifying the cadre. 
As regards the deficiency in the educational system in Yemen, he said “The educational system is not based upon planning and study. The case of education in the countryside is a telling example of this chaos. There you can find big schools with few students. You will also find small, old schools with a remarkable number of students. The reason is simply that big schools are established where there are influential people. They monopolize power to establish them while in other areas without influential people, there are small and old schools. The non-existence of planning and strict law and order are the main reasons behind the imbalance incurring a state of anarchy within the ministry.” 
In his remarks on the outcomes of the educational system regarding the quality, level of performance and its impact on the development process, he aske why we did not depend on ourselves to move the wheel of development in the country. 
He asked “Why is the educational establishments not bound by legislation defining their policies? 
Why is education left for Old Uncle Tom Gobbleigh and all to invest in? Why the authorities concerned do not devise specific rules and logistics to curb them from weakening the most important field for development?” 
He stressed that there were people investing in the education system at a time they knew nothing about it nor knew how important it was. He said “There are many wealthy guys for whom education is nothing but a field they can invest in and hoard more and more money. 
These deficiencies and discrepancies in the quality and quantity of schools and the non-existence of a clear-cut policy for the outcomes of education is the main reason behind the ever-growing rate of unemployment. Some of my students who are holding B.A.s are qat sellers as they cannot find jobs. This sends a sure signal of the dim future of education in the country.” 
Dr. Thaifani drew the attention of the authorities concerned to the hazards threatening the national identity, cultural and social gaps due to the practices of foreign schools. He emphasized that it was important to re-consider the state of foreign education in Yemen and its style in presenting services. He said “It has to abide by the national background. This is applied in all the countries of the world. National identity is fully respected and upheld and none dare deface it. Experience has proven that foreign schools in some of the third world countries turned out to be breeding ground for attracting weak people to work in the foreign intelligence bodies.”At the end of the lecture, Dr. Thaifani mentioned some solutions to reform the education system which were as follows: 
* Devising legislation to organize the educational system directing its objectives to serve the students, society and the government. 
* Defining the patterns and kinds of education restricting the “open door” policy in education as it proves harmful to the society. 
* Organizing and directing national universities, monitoring foreign educational establishments. 
* Defining the funding resources channeling them into the educational process to achieve educational development based on theoretical and practical levels. 
* Establishing schools fully equipped with all the necessary means in accordance with a long term view.