The Plight of Taiz University Students [Archives:1998/14/Reportage]

April 6 1998

Taiz University is one of the newly established universities in Yemen. In the beginning, it was just a branch of Sanaa University. Then, the government issued Republican Decree No. 44 in 1993 concerning the founding of Taiz University and it was officially opened in 1995 according to Republican Decree No. 151.
Mohammed Abdul-Kareem Saeed
Chemistry Department
Faculty of Education
We face many too many problems, the non-existing reference libraries is the most dominant issue. It is really sad to say that we have a university without libraries. I think that even the poorest universities in Africa have better libraries than ours. I think that in every university there must be a central library beside the libraries of its college and department. We are just students given handouts that are exploited in a bad way by some insincere doctors and teachers. By this, I mean that some doctors give thick handouts for students to buy, but only teach a few pages of them. Other doctors summarize their courses in a few pages and sell them to the students. The techniques of this business are diverse. In fact, our problems are unspeakable. We need libraries, labs and sincere teachers.
Saeed Al-Bahery
Geology Department
Faculty of Science
As university students, we do have many difficulties and problems that hinder our studies. The dilemma is that our studies are theoretical rather than practical. This means that we get nothing except the handouts that are reproduced in the exams. The nature of our studies, especially in the department of Geology, entails the availability of laboratories and trips to different places to verify what is written in the handouts in an actual context. Our university without books is a mere skeleton. Every now and then we hear about trips of university officials to Cairo and Bombay for the purpose of getting books. Instead of wasting money on useless trips for people in charge, I think that letters should be sent to authentic publications. I believe that they would save much money and produce concrete results.
Ramzy Qassem Hasan
Faculty of Commerce
In the beginning I would like to express my thanks to Yemen Times for its concerns with our problems. We, in the Faculty of Commerce, face many problems. It is always said that education and development should go hand in hand. That is, education should serve development and lead to prosperity and progress. For us it seems that the glove is on the wrong hand. What kind of development do we expect from a fragile educational system where a student’s learning is based on hand-outs? To add insult to injury, some doctors dishonor their academic profession by considering these hand-outs as an easy means of material gain. Some doctors make a deal with a photocopier and split the profits with them. Therefore, the result is a great deal of hand-outs. The students are the only ones who suffer because if they don’t buy them they will fail. This is the main problem that we have.
Tawfeek Mohammed Al-Shara’aby
English Department
Faculty of Arts
I think that universities are the center of illumination and enlightenment, where minds are better built for the advancement and development of societies. Students, being the leading pioneers of this torch, should be given top priority. But, in our society the case is far from satisfactory. The students are the powerhouse of energy that needs to be channeled for general good. But, being short on books unfortunately leads doctors to write or copy hand-outs for students, which limits their ability to create or show their merit. Just imagine, we the students of English don’t even have a language laboratory. Therefore, with the unavailability of books and a language lab, we don’t study the language, rather our study becomes metalinguistic. You may not believe that some people graduate with a BA or a BED in English without having the ability to handle a situation in the acquired medium for ten minutes. Some can’t even express themselves in English. How did they move from one level to another? Of course memorization was their way out. Parts of the hand-outs are reproduced in the exams and on this basis the student’s performance is evaluated. This is because our studies are exam-oriented. What we are producing is not scholars, but parrots. Students are not given the opportunity to develop their merits.
Bushra Fadhl Al-Maktary
History Department
Faculty of Arts
The role of universities in very significant in the uplifting in the condition of a society. They should have a pioneering role in preparing people for a more glorious future and a better tomorrow, but we have many problems. Some doctors are insincere and careless in their jobs. We are shocked to find some doctors selling questions and evaluating students’ performances on the basis of their relation with them. The result is the loss of bright and creative students. Our studies should depend on researches. But how?! Books are very rare. After four years, students graduate with certificates, but their minds are empty of knowledge. We are very frustrated seeing our seniors jobless. We need books and sincere teachers who honor their academic profession.
By: Mohammed Hatem Al-Qadhi