When Education Turns to a Pain in the Neck [Archives:2002/04/Viewpoint]

January 21 2002

Last week, a surprising decision was taken by the Ministry of Education to postpone the mid-year exams of all public schools. The schedule of exams was postponed from January 19th to February 2nd 2002.
Students all over the country expressed dismay and shock towards this sudden decision that they never anticipated.
As a matter of fact, most students in some public schools had already taken some of their exams. Yet, they were the last to know about this decision. We have been studying hard and anticipating the date of the exam to relief ourselves from studies. This was truly disturbing, a 7th grade student said.
However, the truly surprising point here has been the excuse behind this postponement. An official at the Ministry of Education said they decided to postpone the exam because of a number of schools that violated the strict exam schedule and started exams earlier. As if that is not enough, another excuse was to have the mid-year vacation coincide with Eid Al-Adha.
What a shame! What a pity!
Could there be any worse excuses?
When asked about who is to blame for this by the press, an official at the ministry replied it should be The managers of those schools who started exams early.
Later he added that Education Office Managers in some governorates are also to blame.
When thinking about this issue carefully, you would see that general managers of public schools are government employees and that education office managers in some governorates are also government employees.
This is in fact a governments fault. Hence, is it logical for the government to punish students for its own mistakes?
Here comes the worst part of all. When asked about what to do for schools where students have already taken the exam, the official replied, Well send committees to those schools and evaluate their claims and upon that decide whether they should resume exams.
If you get the point, then you will definitely conclude that the ministry doesnt know what it is doing! I do not want to accuse the ministry of inefficiency or the like. But what I want to stress is the fact that it has punished the students for its own employees fault. This was not a wise move at all.
How often does this repeat itself anywhere on this planet?
Another issue is the news of the possible return of Thursday as a normal working weekday. This will truly cause chaos for schools and students more than anything else!
At the end of the day, and with such occurrences continuing at the Ministry of Education, I wouldnt be surprised if I one day get a complaint from a Yemeni student saying, Education in this country has become a pain in the neck.
How True! How True!