Magic chairs in Taiz University [Archives:2003/685/Education]

November 13 2003

By Ahmed Abduh Saeed Al-Shara’abi
Taiz University

Have you heard of magic chairs? If you are a student in Taiz University, you will experience magic chairs. You come to the class, book a chair and go out. But when you come back to the class, you get shocked to see your chair gone.
This is a magic chair, isn’t it? What makes students in Taiz University call their chairs “Magic chairs” is the fact that chairs are a few. As a result of scarcity of chairs, students exert themselves to find a chair in any way. In fact, the scarcity of chairs is one of the problems, which disturb the educational atmosphere in the campus. No doubt this problem has impinged on the students, since they are compelled to allot some of their valuable time and efforts and move heaven and earth looking for a chair. In fact, running from one room and another to get a chair has become the order of the day in Taiz University. This annoying problem has its impact even on the student’s routine. Some students for example do not sleep well and spend their nights fixing their eyes on the window, waiting for dawn to break, so that they can rush to their colleges in order to reserve a chair. Others come to the class and are out of breath peeping from the door to see a chair here or there, but to no avail. Disappointed, they move back and forth from class to class, from floor to floor, hoping to get even half a chair.
But the real catastrophe occurs when he sees his teacher nodding his head as a signal for him not to come in because he is late. Dropping his darling chair, dredging mountains of disappointment and bearing signs of grief and strain on his face, he plods back home. It is no exaggeration to say that this is just a common experience every day. To add insult to injury, the process of conveying chairs from place to another many an accident takes place and lot of hue and cry is made. A girl, for instance, seizes a chair in a hurry and while rushing towards the class, hits one on the leg and collides with another. A boy grabs a semi-chair and out of haste rushes dropping a part of that broken chair on his leg to avoid its fall on the floor and its dreadful noise. However, there is some inescapable noise made by girls pulling their chairs along the corridors until they reach their destination. As we see, girls rarely carry chairs but they usually pull them creating deafening noise.
As a matter of fact, this problem has become the talking point among student just as the Anglo-American occupation for Iraq has become the talking point among the people of the world. Sometimes we ask ourselves: does this problem exist in other countries?
To conclude, this issue is not a hard nut to crack. One way to solve this problem is that the University administration should provide every classroom with a sufficient number of chairs and adopt a periodical repair program to mend those broken ones. However, if this solution is farfetched, it might be better for us to sit on the floor than to exert ourselves and waste our time running after magic chairs. After all, a drowning man does not fear getting wet.