OP-ED

Yemeni NDC and the Case of Education

National Yemen

International Education Week In Sana’a

Asma al-Mohattwari

Although the Yemeni government has made the development of education system its top priority where the share of the budget dedicated to education has remained high during the past decade, averaging between 14% – 20% of the total government expenditure, but still it was not enough to improve the quality of education in a good way.

Educational systems originated in Yemen in the sixties of the twentieth century; the educational process is supervised by three Ministries: Ministry of Education that care about the public education of both types; public and private sectors, Vocational schools and community colleges are managed by the Ministry of Technical Education and Vocational Training.

The reality of education in Yemen is so poor that illiteracy rate of has reached 70% in rural areas and 38% in cities. Also Yemen lacks qualified teachers, where 45% of teachers do not have high school certificate, 18 % have a high school degree while only 13.8% have a college degree.

A study presented by Dr. Abdullah Al-Salahi about education explained that, education in Yemen suffers from problems threatening the security and homeland future and the most important issues are the absence of policies and plans, in addition to the absence of the general law of education as legal and intellectual reference to leaders of education.

Arwa Oppel, a member of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), believes the education issue is one of the top priorities in freedom and rights group and transition justice group.

Oppel believes that education syndicates should mobilize media and community support in order to have a remake of our education systems.

“The responsibility of the educational process have to be experienced people with competence in all different levels. Also the specialization and field work should be respected and taken into consideration” she added.

NDC outputs came with some recommendations in order to improve the education field in Yemen and considered it the most important issue to build Yemen’s future. One of the most significant outputs is free education in all levels basic and higher education in all its branches and grades and education is compulsory in the basic stage for all Yemeni children. Also NDC members stressed to prevent child labour before exceeding the age of compulsory education or if the work will prevent the child to continue education and it is the duty of the state to give children all appropriate chances to be educated.

Regarding to the teaching staff, NDC outputs came with the state committing to provide training programs and development of educational skills for workers in the field of teaching.

All the NDC outputs are still on paper and nothing has been implemented yet and according to Eng. Nabila Abdullah, NDC member right and freedom group, work will only come after the final session, where all the decisions will be made and it will take time for these changes to be applied.

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