Reasons behind the low-level learning of students [Archives:2004/737/Culture]

May 13 2004

By Mohamed Zaid
For the Yemen Times

The reasons for the low-level learning of students are many. The environment, the negligence of parents of their children at homes and their failure to follow up the performance of their children during the school year are a few from the top of the list.
It is the wrong approach of some parents in order to improve the ability of their children to learn and to comprehend difficult subjects and the use of violence or extreme measures such as kicking out the male children from their homes, harsh beating and degrading them instead of seeking peaceful approach to make the children like school. This practice leads many students to either drop out of school or to neglect their duties in schools.
The large number of students in each classroom and the short time does not allow the teacher to interact effectively with all students nor does it allow him to explain well and to discuss difficult topics over and over again due to the heavy burden imposed on him. Consequently, the students are unable to absorb lessons and continue to pile up lessons that are not understood very well.
The absence of discipline and monitoring of private schools is another factor. Since parents are paying high tuition fees for their children, they expect that their children would have to pass each school year. Schools end up passing the students, even those who do not deserve to pass, in order to avoid financial losses from withdrawing of the losers from their schools. Parents would not blame their children for not passing, but rather the schools.
The alternative approach to the improvement of students begins at homes. Parents should never resort to violence since violence is counterproductive and sometimes leads to negative consequences such as total dismissal of interest in school by violently mistreated students. Parents should consider a more patient method to encourage their children to enjoy going to school and even to want to learn more and not to lead them to drop out or to neglect their schools.
The parents of students should always follow up the performance of their children constantly throughout the school year. They have to encourage them and motivate them when they do well. The roles of schools and teachers must expand to provide good examples for the students. The school administration and teachers are supposed to set examples for the students in terms of their involvement in ensuring the appearance of the school, in the selection of qualified teachers, the regular carrying out of various sports and cultural activities and continuously interacting with students. The school should be concerned also with the physical condition as well as the mental and academic skills of the students. Each school should also include a social worker to guide and advise students disturbed for whatever reason, at home or school. Schools should not neglect the importance of having a first aid kit installed in schools for emergency cases, which would provide a sense of safety for students.
Finally, the Ministry of Education must contribute to having better education principles by providing periodically updated curricula and ensuring the imposed and required obligations of schools are fulfilled by private schools. The Ministry must always monitor the activities of private and public schools at all the times, and most of all, the Ministry must exert efforts to build more schools in order to avoid having many crowded students in each classroom where neither the teachers nor the students can actually get the maximum learning and teaching benefits.