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First Terms Elapses; More Time outside Classes and Unfinished Curricula
  Written By: Abdu Al-Garadi (FOR THE YEMEN POST)
  Article Date:
January 12, 2009



The first term elapsed while many students spent their days still searching for their teachers, books or on skipping classes.

Educational institutions have turned to be a scene for political conflicts and teachers were towed into that field, distracting their attention away from performing their noble duty.

This week, the conduction of the first term exams for all education phases are underway. Schools have only started to proceed in teaching after several holidays erupted the smooth flow of learning, along with numerous strikes and demonstrations by teachers.

All these activities have helped waste the time during the first term of the academic year (2008-2009).

Students nationwide were supposed to study 90 days, excluding the different religious and national holidays and occasions. However, this has not been effective as the start of this year was timed with Ramadan and Eid vacation.

Later, time for the first phase of the registration period for elections took place, which took over half a month. This was followed by the teachers' strikes. This means that half of the actual time was wasted and it was not compensated. Selecting teachers to undertake the registration process by the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum helped halt the educational process.    

Extemporary decisions

Head of Yemeni Teachers Syndicate Ahmed Al-Rabahi called on the Ministry of Education to revise the whole process, particularity the academic calendar. He also called them to start the next year after Ramadan vacation and not to take extemporary decisions.

Al-Rabahi denounced exploiting teachers for tasks supposed to be undertaken by political parties, demanding the Ministry of Education to extend the first term for additional weeks so that teachers can cover the education plan and finish the curricula.


Yemen's official education is going backwards and it will remain the same if the different reasons for the shortcoming are not addressed through fully considered plans that give priority to qualifying the cadre, particularly when a large number of teachers have poor background in education as this passively affects their output. 

Several studies see that the poor level of teachers and administrations as well as the lack of qualification programs are the key reasons for the deterioration of education in Yemen.

According to a 2005-2006 report by the Supreme Council for Education Planning, the educational process still suffers deterioration and low achievements among teachers mainly because of weak qualifications, lack of efficiency and the insufficient salaries and wages which force them to look for alternative sources of income.

Weak School Administrations

Part of public education problems lies in the weak school administrations. This is motivated by the low educational levels of headmasters. Some rural area schools are run by headmasters who have no certificate and lack any knowledge on how to administer such schools.

The problem is also prompted by the absence of any monitoring mechanism as well as the random appointment of teachers.

Observers see that the respective authority in the Ministry of Education should reconsider the matter and select those who hold university degrees specialized in education.


The students of rural areas have several problems ranging from the shortage of buildings, apparatuses, chairs and furniture. Students study under trees and there is a shortage of teachers and curricula, despite the fact that school books are sold in the black market.