Uncertain future awaiting expelled high school girls [Archives:2003/673/Local News]

October 2 2003

Mohammed bin Sallam
Sana'a, Sept. 30_ More than 700 high school female students from Jaweria Bint al-Hareth School gathered this week in front of the presidential palace because of their expulsion from their school.
This has taken place when the president's motorcade passed in front of the deported female students and despite of being reassured by officials at the palace for paying a visit to the school by the president.
A female teacher, refusing to identify herself said that the Secretary of the capital Ahmed al-Kuhlani has threatened to dismiss the school principal unless instructions to expel the 700 female students from the school were obeyed.
Samiha Lutf al-Zubairi, the School Principal said:
“It is unfair. Decisions regarding the allocation of secondary schools and other basic ones, which have been approved by the Education Ministry and implemented by the secretary, have been done randomly and without a complete study. They have been implemented without an accurate and proper manner and without taking into consideration the surrounding factors.”
“No alternative has been yet made and they don't even determine nearby schools for female students in order to continue their education,” she confirmed.
She added that she was informed that the Ekhwan Thabet School would be somewhat the alternative school and that it has been allocated for study to high school female students.
“But more sorrow than in anger is that the aforementioned school has been still used for basic students. The school has been crammed with a lot of female students. It has more than 1934 female students and 22 classes. So, the class capacity is about 85 female students,” she said.
Mrs. Samiha explained that the classes of the upper floor of the Jaweria Bint al-Hareth School is empty and that it is possible for students, (700) to study in those classes.
She has bitterly complained about the deteriorating conditions of those expelled students. “Under the social and economic conditions and due to the high increase of transportation fares, most of those students have become a victim to illiteracy and will be listed as illiterate women spread among the Yemeni girls,” she explained.
Another women found crying at the schoolyard because of the uncertain future of her daughter. “Who will do justice? Why doesn't the president respond to our complaints? Al-Kuhlani hates education of girls after the 9th grade. The education minister also has entered into endless clashes and disputes since his appointment as a minister. He comes to us from another planet. He doesn't know our social context and conditions where we live. I plead to the president to dismiss the backward-minded people from their posts. They are the enemy of women and development and humanity,” the women desperately said.
As for allocating secondary schools for female students and other for boy students for the basic education, the secretary of the capital Mr. Ahmed al-Kuhlani insisted on allocating schools for those students for both levels.
He made clear that a committee had been set up to pursue the plan and a 15-day report is to be conducted. “So, this will pave the way for reconsidering those plans unless hindrances or difficulties blocked their way or that suitable solutions made,” he explained .
He demanded for allocating such schools in the secretariat.