The Horse Government’s Terrible Start [Archives:2001/20/Focus]

May 14 2001

Bassam Jameel,
Yemen Times
The government’s decision taken last Tuesday to integrate the budget and curricula of the scientific institutes with that of schools have set forth lots of condemnation and anguish. Yemenis are in need of decisions of the other kind: putting an end to the rampant corruption, holding the corrupt responsible, rectifying weak performance of public institutions, backing up investment, activating the tourist sector, supporting agriculture, devising solutions for unemployment, accelerating the wheel of development, solving the deep rooted vengeance and kidnapping problems and so forth..
The new government’s top priority should have been to address problems of the educational system in terms of qualifying the weak cadre, developing the curricula, renovating schools, and setting up new schools to accommodate the ever increasing number of students.
Then, why are scientific institutes targeted now?
I feel that the only reason is political. It is a way to fight the religious orientation since the scientific institutes offer the same Islamic and Arabic subjects which are not condensed when compared to the two subjects taught in schools.
They claim that scientific institutes may create dualism in education leading to a gap of understanding among the young generation. This is far from being the case. Scientific institutes have existed for 25 years and have been graduating students and we have never seen the so called gap.
Who is to benefit from closing down the scientific institutes?
Mr. Mohammed al-Hashmi, al-Mustakelah newspaper answered this question and said “Those who can not bear the diversity of educational curricula and the wide range of educational opportunities in Yemen; those who do not care much about the religious culture; those who want Yemen to be like many Arab countries, centralized, tyrannical, controlling all the affairs of the people are the ones who may benefit from closing down the scientific institutes.
It is a pity that our top officials can’t bear these institutes while the Hebrew country is spending a lot to support religious schools. Furthermore, some Islamic schools are being supported by the British government as well.”
The government seems to busy itself in trivial things setting aside major issues; high standard of living, high rate of unemployment 37%, high rate of poverty 51%, etc.
This is the real challenge for the government of Ba Jammal. This is the real development field which they should worry about. However, they are very far from it. The country is continuously deteriorating and every thing is going backward not forward. When will the horse government stop adopting such politically intriguing policies?