PhD holders Vs. Instructors at Sana’a University


By Essra al-Najjar

Despite the fact that doctors at Sana’a University in general have more qualifications than most instructors do, the mass still believed that instructors are better teachers. Even when it comes to professional exchange of  ideas  with students, students find instructors easier to deal with. For students, it’s more comfortable to ask a free younger instructor than a busy PhD.

What makes instructors better than some PhD holders in both teaching and dealing with students?  One answer is that instructors are usually easier to deal with. Most educational doctors, in students’ opinions, are rather aggressive in their treatment, which naturally causes a withdrawal on the student’s behalf and thus affects the student’s level of education negatively.

“Treating students in an aggressive manner may not affect them personally rather than on the level of their studies and how they perceive the subject or book of that professor,” says Ms. Naseem Al-Naqeeb, an instructor in the Faculty of Languages. Instructors happen to be less aggressive sometimes since they are still new graduates and are familiar with all the matters that could affect a student. They do understand that targeting a certain student could have a permanent impact on them.

Secondly, instructors happen to be more enthusiastic since they are still being introduced to the field. They still want to prove themselves and deliver the information they have been learning for years. They are also filled with genuine interest and faithfulness to the matter in hand. According to Mariam Zabara, a telecom engineering student, “Instructors are still fresh graduates and they know all about the traditional techniques that professors in Sana’a University use and so try to avoid them.”

Since they are fresh graduates, instructors try to develop new techniques and use more practical ways, and this helps students get the best out of the subject and even excel in it on the long run. Hadeel Mohammed has developed a passion for a subject just because her instructor did her best in teaching . She said, “Ms. Naseem has affected and emerged my studies. She helped develop my skills to a remarkable extent and made the English language seems easier than it actually is.”

Hadeel also believes that she hasn’t met many PhD holders who were capable of doing the same. “Most doctors don’t like to make an effort while explaining the material that needs to be explained. They use the style of indoctrination instead of giving students the opportunity to search and think,” she added.

Another reason why instructors could be better teachers is that they have more free time than doctors do. This only helps them in developing themselves and reinforcing their knowledge on how to convey a certain lesson in a way that is both beneficial and entertaining for students. Furthermore, having more time gives the instructor the chance to focus more of his time on their students, helping them, sensing their weakness points and giving them the keys by which they could improve themselves.

As for doctors, they are too burdened by their schedules and duties as PhDs, and so it is hard for them sometimes to give their best to their students. Although this is not really the doctors’ fault, it still has a negative impact on the students.

In spite of all that has been mentioned, some PhDs naturally contradict these ideas. They believe that PhDs will always be better than instructors since they have the needed information, but whether they can convey it or not is a matter of great importance. Those PhD holders also believe that these defects in teaching can be easily overcame by training those doctors.

Some students do agree with this point of view. “Doctors are definitely better than teachers since they are more educated and have the required experience to teach the curricula,” says Khadeeja Ahmed, a language student.

All in all, In order to provide the best of education for students in Sana’a University, who one day will become dominant parts of the society, the unit of evaluation must keep this difference in consideration and work on improving this gap. Doctors must be further trained by enrolling in workshops and training courses. This will certainly help them in improving their quality of teaching and also provide them with variable techniques in conveying information.

On the other hand, instructors must be motivated, supported and also trained to help them yield all the information they know to future generations. “Teaching isn’t about giving lectures and lessons, it is concerned with conveying messages besides information,” says Ahmed Al-Asbahi, a lecturer in the French Department.