Rural girls benefit greatly Private schools get high marks [Archives:2002/44/Business & Economy]

October 28 2002


A question that is repeatedly asked in Yemen is, why does the private sector have such a wide-range of opportunity to shape the mentality of future Yemeni generations? People also wonder whether investment in education is successful as a commercial business, both economically and socially.
One would wonder how the idea of using private sector funds for education started.
To answer, some sources at the ministry of education told us that the World Bank has been the one to take the initiative to submit the idea of expanding education as part of a project in conjunction with the ministry.
The project aims at extending education to rural areas where girls are not granted the opportunity of attending even primary school education.
Its other objectives are to carry out of a strategy for developing qualitative education, modernize curricula, qualify teachers, build effective administrations and provide a convenient educational environment.
Need modern ways in planning
At this stage the need has emerged for engaging private sector and local societies to contribute in building and running schools. The ministry’s task is to modernize statistical information and to follow modern ways in planning and programming.
Thus, many large-scale investive projects have been made available for the private sector in the field of erecting educational projects in rural areas. Hundreds of the unemployed have in them many opportunities providing them with financial resources. Investing programs in education has also encouraged girls to enroll and attend primary schools.
Business opportunities
Educational sources have further said this investment project has created yet other opportunities for businessmen to invest in this field, especially in building educational facilities in the governorates of Sana’a, Mahweet,Amran and Dhalie.
Investment programs in education also includes building a number of projects by using suitable architectural designs, service utilities, and provision of furniture and school equipment. Studies on economic feasibility indicate that there are many groups of educational projects still in need of investors.
Some criticize
Some would criticize private sector schools and universities. They say they have harmed the reputation of the educational process and do not abide by regulations that allow the public sector to run schools. They argue that the educational operation has been focusing on the goal of gaining high profits with disregard of requirements of the present stage that needs concentration on science and knowledge made available for a generation destined to direct and lead the society.
Government wants investment
The government does therefore encourage investment in education for implementing constructional works of educational projects and controlling private sector educational output that has led to an increase in number of graduates against a decrease in job opportunities and deterioration of people’s living conditions.
Reduce poverty
To deal with this, the ministry of education has drawn up investment plans to support progress of basic education, attract businessmen to implement construction projects as being deemed new opportunities, and help reduce poverty through employment of thousands of unemployed workers.