Investigating the condition of one of Sanaas schools: Cry education in Yemen! [Archives:2002/07/Reportage]

February 11 2002

Mohammed Al-Masani
YT Staff
A recent visit to a school near Sana’a shows clearly our centers for learning need more attention, drastically.
Look at Al-Wahda School in Sanhan District, about one kilometer away from Sana’a. A short visit to this school shows the dire educational reality in our country.
The number of students here reaches 1420, and many are crammed into classrooms that need to be much larger.
The school’s ceiling is covered with a very weak roof, which leaks during heavy rains.
There are not enough chairs for students to sit on, and not even widows or doors.
Students in the winter season are chilled to the bone due to the open cold weather.
Both students and teachers are exposed to infectious diseases such as, pneumonia due the dusty atmosphere.
While the building is in such need of repair, amazingly, it is rented to the students.
The Schoolmaster, Khaled Mosaed Mohammed talked to YT about the catastrophic condition of the school and noted the Parents’ Council has rented the school on behalf of the students.
“Each student pays YR 500 every year. For about 12 years the school comprises 12 classes without bathrooms or even doors. Many officials visited the school but of no avail,” he said.
Teachers complain bitterly about deteriorating conditions.
Among those is Bushra Ahmed Al-Nesri, who points out the majority of teachers and students are getting sick due to the dusty atmosphere.
This has of course created a number of difficulties with regard to teaching students in an appropriate manner.
Crammed classes
She notes that 84 students study in one class.
These conditions at Al Wahda show some of the educational problems across Yemen. Free education, for example, is rare.
Some remote regions in the country such as villages and countryside are deprived of the simplest pedagogical and educational means, and these schools are like slums.
Where does a boy or girl, or a man or woman with a drive for a proper learning find good books in this country?
The contemptible conditions of schools of all levels have saddened many of us in our hearts. We need better facilities and libraries, and then attract well-qualified and experienced teachers.
Our eyes are focused on the Yemeni officials. They are supposed to act seriously and try to improve education.
Yet, what on earth is being done?
So far, the answer is nothing!
Human Rights Project Fund activity launched at the British Council in Sanaa
On Saturday 2nd February 2002 the British Council Sanaa launched the second training session under the Human Rights Project Fund (HRPF).
This is a scheme funded by the British government represented by its Embassies- to support Human Rights awareness and activities worldwide.
The first training course tackled the phenomenon of Street Children and was performed in the period October-November 2002.
The on-going 3-week training workshop is addressing public and non-public institutions working with the children category of delinquents.
The first two weeks of the training is dealing with topics of Managerial and Administrative Skills and is directed to the admin staff in the targeted organizations.
Week 3 is directed to the technical staff to provide them with professional communication skills necessary for communicating and interacting with the targeted group of children, i.e. the delinquents.
An approximate number of 40 participants is attending the training which is conducted by the Egyptian Center for Development Services.
The project is managed by the British Council in co-ordination with the Higher Council for Motherhood and childhood and the Ministry of Social affairs and Labor.