Saudi Gazette, Saturday, January 21, 2017
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All Saudi universities have a well-established system to monitor student conduct
I am writing with regard to the article “Who is responsible when female university
students fight with each other?” (Jan. 13).
With due regard for the author, I disagree with the concluding part of this article
wherein it is stated: “Most of our universities do not pay attention to students, especially
female students, who seem to display signs of delinquency. In fact, many universities
have completely failed to detect and treat delinquent behavior. As a result, they have
become a fertile environment for arguments and fights and a place where female
students can easily assault one another.”
In fact, in line with the education policy of the Ministry of Higher Education, all
government and private sector universities and colleges take student support services
very seriously. For this purpose, universities have established Student Rights Units,
Academic Advising Units, Student Support Services Units and Psychological Counseling
All of these units provide guidance to students and resolve their personal as well as
academic problems. Moreover, all universities have developed well-defined student
codes of conduct, ethical codes and grievance procedures to resolve all types of
conflicts whether among students, between staff and students or between students
The Education Evaluation Commission (EEC) formerly known as the National
Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment has also attributed great
importance to student support services and academic and psychological counseling.
It is impossible for any program, college or university to achieve EEC accreditation
without providing adequate evidence regarding the provision of student support
services, guidance and counseling.
There are many universities that have a mentor system where three to five
students are assigned to a senior faculty member who acts as a mentor. The mentor
guides them to have good relations with fellow students, staff, faculty and parents in
accordance with the teachings of Islam. The EEC panel of reviewers not only examines
such evidence but also interviews students to ensure that they are being provided with
all support services, academic advising, the right of appeal and justice.
That is a why the incident reported in the above-mentioned article is very rare and
hence cannot be generalized to all universities and colleges in the Kingdom. I am
certain that no university wants to expel any student and does not take such an action
until violators cross well-established limits. Even in such cases the decisions taken by
universities provide the aggrieved students with a right of appeal.
The administration of colleges, universities, EEC and the Ministry of Higher Education,
all ensure that there is a conducive environment in the institutions where students
flourish so that university students become a useful part of Saudi society.
Each year, a majority of students proceed abroad for higher education. No such
complaints have ever been received about their conduct. Rather the reports often
indicate excellent performance and conduct of Saudi students abroad. All institutions
in the Kingdom including the institutions of higher education are working hard to
achieve the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, which demand excellence in every
field including that of education. I am sure that students are provided justice and
sympathetic consideration by the administration of the Kingdom’s universities.
Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Ahmedani,
Assistant Professor, College of Dentistry, King Saud University
‘Women at wheel dare Jordan’s
social norms’ (Dec. 31)
Anyone who says that having freedom will
result in women being harassed should think again.
People should be raised to be respectful regardless
of religion or beliefs. Instead of being judgmental
and biased, why can’t we be fair? Why not
educate men to respect women in the same way
that they would want their sisters or mothers to be
respected? Respect begets respect!
It makes more sense to have women drivers
than to have men take their wives, mothers,
sisters and daughters everywhere that they
need to go. And it makes even more sense to
educate men to respect women and not to see
them as sexual objects.
‘Why do some people treat
their parents cruelly?’ (Jan. 6)
Sadly, not all parents are nice; some are
abusers, some neglect their kids, etc. Some just
do not deserve love or affection. Sometimes it is
kinder to put people in assisted living. If you are
an unmarried only child with a low paying job
you cannot afford the time off or a caregiver
to look after sick or elderly parents, so it is better
for them to be in an assisted care facility. The
author of this article seems to either be very
innocent or rich enough that she has options
that others do not have. Life is rarely that simple.
Many old people have to be admitted to
care homes because they have medical issues
that cannot be dealt with at home. Care here
in the UK can be both luxurious and expensive.
Some homes provide 24-hour medical care and
have all the facilities that people with certain
medical conditions need. There is one near me
that charges over £1,000 per week. It is like living
in a luxury hotel. It has a cinema, swimming
pool, gym, library, etc. and two Mercedes
“people carriers” to drive the residents around.
‘Why are ambitious young Saudis not
being given a chance to succeed?’ (Jan. 7)
Let them go abroad to work. They will be
expected to work a full week, expected to do
as they are told, and expected to start from the
bottom and work up to managerial positions
over a number of years. Having a degree
means that you now have the correct tools to
start learning your specialty.
Saudi Arabia is a land that has been specially
blessed by Allah. Yes, Saudis are hardworking
and they have got good brains, but many of
them do not want to work for a low salary or do a
low profile job. The solution is importing expats to
do the work. Only if Saudis begin to work shoulder
to shoulder with expats will the day come when
99 percent of Saudis have a job and the country
will be a much better place.
I agree. I see a lot of intelligent and wise
young Saudi men. In general, every person
has potential and just needs to be given a
chance for the right opportunity to prove their
skills and talent. The government needs to
increase the number of people graduating from
higher education. However, if there is a lack
of motivation and cooperation, even the best
program will not work.
Saudis have a greater advantage than
expats. They just need to apply to different
companies. Private companies will soon need
more Saudis due to the additional costs involved
in hiring expats.
‘Who pushed innocent Saudi tourists
to death in Turkey?’ (Jan. 10)
Even if you are living in the best country,
you will want to travel to see the world. There
are millions of tourists who travel all around the
world. Is it because they aren’t allowed to smile
in their own country? Of course not. They have
all the things mentioned in the article and more,
but they still want to travel abroad.
What a ridiculous idea! People travel to
learn about cultures and other people and
appreciate the diversity of the world that Allah
created. The author seems to be suggesting
that Saudis only travel because they are
prohibited from doing things in their own
country! According to the author, if cinema,
music, etc., was brought into the country, then
these people would not have travel and hence
they would not be dead. How absurd!
‘Thanks to expats for a
job well done’ (Jan. 11)
This is a very good article. Yes it is a bitter
truth. Thank you for highlighting the problems of
expats. We often forget how blessed we are. We
should all thank the Almighty for what we have
and try to help these people whenever possible.
I thank the author for his appreciation of
the problems that expats face. We are giving
our best efforts for developing the nation. Also
we want to see the economic recovery of the
Kingdom. But the government should also be
concerned about expats. Fees have been
imposed and salaries have been reduced
which makes it very difficult for us to live. I hope
that the government realizes the necessity of
maintaining a level field for all.
‘Do you need a college degree
to find a job?’ (Jan. 7)
Many young graduates develop a mindset
that makes them believe that they deserve a
high salary just because they have a degree.
The fact is that all companies only pay for the
experience that you have and a degree only
qualifies you to be interviewed for a job.
That is why the percentage of unemployed
youth is high. Graduating from college is an
advantage. However, it still depends on your
knowledge, skills and attitude.
Raymond Ryan Cinco Punsalan
Some people have no education, but
they know how to do all kinds of jobs, such as
working as a mechanic, electrician, etc. Such
people have much more experience that those
who have spent their time getting a degree.
However, it is true that doctors, engineers,
teachers and nurses, need higher education
because they need to learn more than those
who have trained by themselves.