New Course: Social and [Archives:1998/03/Reportage]

January 19 1998

Population Studies in Sanaa University
The department of Sociology was established 25 years ago, when Sanaa University was first opened. Several classes have graduated from the department at the hands of highly qualified Arab and Yemeni professors who were able to prepare well-qualified graduates from the department during those years. Professors in the department have helped prepare and supervised more than 30 scientific dissertations and theses for master and doctorate degrees concerning many Yemeni social issues, in addition to their continuous contributions to development and social studies for public and private organizations. Lately, they set out to establish the Social Research and Population Studies Unit to train specialists in social and population studies. From the beginning of this year, the department has paid a lot of attention to developing this unit to replace the Social and Woman Studies Unit which was turned into the Center for Applied and Women Studies. During the first three years of its existence, members of the department have participated in establishing the Social and Women Studies Unit which was part of the Sociology Department . The recent negative developments that occurred in the Center for Applied and Women Studies have made the professors of the department stop teaching in that center, especially because the person responsible for the center is not a specialist in this field. When the Social and Women Studies Unit was established, the academic committee responsible for making the program, consisting of seven professors, stipulated that program cannot be changed until a new specialist academic staff is formed in due time. This program was, unfortunately, changed when the Center for Applied and Women Studies was established. The center failed to teach its students many relevant scientific subjects as was agreed by the Department of Sociology, which was responsible for the program, and the then Social and Women Studies Unit, making the center a meaningless corporation for propaganda purposes. What led to this failure was the Dutch sponsoring authorities’ interference in the center which led to changing its curricula, distorting its goals and spoiling the methods of its programs. What made matters worse is that the university administration took a negative stance towards these developments, thereby harming the academic principles of the university. That is why we are interested in establishing the new Social Research and Population Studies Unit this year. We have put the necessary programs to improve the unit’s role in development, training and studies. On the other hand, there are promises from Sanaa University and some international organizations including the Development Fund to support this project. About 40 students have joined this new program (the Population Studies Diploma). In addition, there is a program for short training and preparing studies and consultations for public and private organizations.
The Department of Sociology in the College of Arts at Sanaa University has developed its social research and women studies diploma program to become the diploma of the Social Research and Population Studies Unit. The program consists of two parts: Scientific and academic qualification and re-doing technical and applied training as well as conducting research and consultations and applied studies.
The First Part: The level of scientific and academic qualification (high diploma)
First, the goal: The high diploma in social research and population studies aims to raise the level of knowledge, scientific, and research abilities among the students concerned. It also aims to provide them with scientific and applied expertise in the field of population and social development through the following: 1- Developing the social and population researches that are related to the Yemeni society in particular and the Arab society in general. 2- Providing the students with objective information and analyses that are related to social research and population issues and raising the efficiency of specialists in the relevant bodies. 3- Qualifying students to conduct social and population research by concentrating on training in field research and surveys. 4- Theoretically and practically preparing the students to continue their scientific research in population and social policies. 5- Consolidating the relations between the university and the civic institutions through qualifying their active staff in advanced scientific expertise in the field of social development and population issues.
Second, study duration: the diploma duration is two academic years consisting of lectures and applied courses. At the end of the two years, a students receives a high diploma in social research and population studies.
Third, syllabus: 1- First year: a- Basics of sociology b- Social research methods c- Women in Yemeni legislations and human rights conventions d- Population and development e- Social anthropology f- Women in Arab-Islamic heritage g- English language (1) 2- Second year: a- Social theories b- Communication and population culture c- Population and bio-statistics d- Particular subjects (change every year) e- Designing and applying joint social and population research f- Individual graduation projects g- English language (2)
Students who achieve the mark of ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ are eligible to register for MA degrees in the Sociology Department.
The Second Part: Training and consultation services Due to the importance of relating pure scientific knowledge to reality, the Social Research and Population Studies Unit adopts a program of applied to be implemented alongside the academic diploma program. It includes organizing short and long-term training courses, workshops, seminars, and conferences as well as planning and implementing consultation work in the field of population and social development. The training and consultation services will be in the following fields:
1- General social issues: a- family, b- women, c- public opinion, d- guidance and raising awareness, e- social role, f- civic society, g- communications, h- culture, i- public relations, j- planning and designing social researches, k- social services.
2- Population: a- reproductive health and family planning, b- population distribution and basic services, c- internal migration and urban challenges, d- external migration, e- women and population changes, f- population and housing, g- population, human resources and labor market, h- populations studies and surveys.
3- Social Development: a- rural development, b- family and individual production projects, c- all forms of cooperative work, d- popular participation in development, e- sustainable development, f- social income, expenditure, and consumption, g- performance enhancement, h- work ethics and values, i- social and economic feasibility, j- local development, k- agricultural development.
4- Environment: a- behavior and pollution, b- social exploitation of water, plant cover and soil, c- natural reserves, d- environmental awareness ethics and values, e- environmental effects of industrial installations, f- urban overcrowding, g- environmental management.
5- Education & Public Health: a- school social guidance and supervision, b- social health and protection, c- health and consumption and nutrition patterns, d- mother and child, e- social upbringing.
6- Social Problems: a- poverty, b- unemployment, c- crime, d- delinquency and begging, e- disability, f- violence, g- financial and administrative corruption, h- revenge.
– Any other field, issue, social or population problem the research of which is required by governmental and non-governmental bodies.
Dr. Abdu Ali Othman, Professor of Sociology, Sanaa University Social Research and Population Studies Unit