Back to school in Sana'a... Unequal seasonal wars exhausting parents

English - Wednesday 03 August 2022 الساعة 10:18 am
Sana'a, NewsYemen, private:

Five days ago, Abdullah Al-Faqih - an employee in Sana’a - was searching among his friends and relatives for a financial advance of 32,000 riyals, (50 US dollars), which is the value of the so-called community contribution imposed on parents wishing to enroll their children in public schools in Sana’a for the new academic year 2022/  2023. 

Not only that, Abdullah's wife is also still in the task of seeking the assistance of her relatives to obtain an amount of approximately 40,000 riyals to cover the value of a school uniform at an average price of 10,000 riyals for 4 children of the family who are supposed to be enrolled in government schools this week.

And by calculating another 10,000 riyals, as an average figure for the value of a bag, books and school supplies for each student, this family will need a total of 112,000 riyals (US$200), to secure the enrollment of their four (4) children in government schools at the beginning of the new academic year.

The season for students’ return to school classrooms in Sana’a and the neighboring governorates has become a nightmare that weighs on parents, exacerbates their suffering and increases their concerns, in light of the continued looting by the Houthi militia of the salaries of state employees since September 2016, and its imposition of successive price doses in the prices of oil derivatives and foodstuffs.  Medicines, electricity and water tariffs.

Khadija Al-Salami - a housewife - was forced to sell the last piece of her gold jewelry this year to provide the value of registration fees and school supplies for her three children, hoping to enroll them in basic education classes in public schools for the new academic year 2022/2023.  Enrolling her children in public schools (from year to year tuition fees and school fees become more expensive)

The Houthi militia claims that what it calls the community contribution is a voluntary contribution, but the reality refutes this claim. School officials and education offices in the districts stress the importance of paying these amounts, claiming that they are spent as operating expenses and transportation fees for teachers.

Umm Walid - an employee in Sana'a - is surprised that the Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports spend exorbitant amounts of money on summer centers, and deprive schools and teachers of operating expenses and teachers' salaries, wondering about the fate of the revenues of the Public Education Support and Development Fund, which was established with the aim of mobilizing and directing financial resources towards achieving goals  Expansion and improvement of the quality of education.

 In its article (54) the Constitution of the Republic of Yemen states that education is a right for all citizens guaranteed by the state, and that education is compulsory in the basic stage.  The constitutional article refers to the state's responsibility to eradicate illiteracy and pay attention to the expansion of technical and vocational education.

The Houthi price dose in the value of school registration fees is in complete violation of the commitment of the government of Abdulaziz bin Habtoor, in its hypothetical government program, during which it pledged to (attention to basic and secondary education, which contributes to raising enrollment rates), and to pay special attention to (educating the girl as a stone).  The cornerstone of the comprehensive correction of the educational process), in addition to (giving priority to quality assurance in basic and secondary education with its various components and components), according to the contents of its government program..

The academic at Sana’a University, Adel Al-Sharjabi, sees the exorbitant fees and royalties imposed by the Ministry of Education in the government of Ibn Habtoor on school students, as “a clear and explicit declaration of the state’s abandonment of its constitutional duty to guarantee the right to education.”

He expected that such measures would lead to "more social injustice and a violation of the principle of social justice in the education sector." He added: "Access to educational opportunities will become the preserve of the children of the rich, the children of the corrupt and those working in the black economic sectors."

Al-Sharjabi also expected devastating effects on education in Yemen, including: “the increase in dropout rates, the expansion of the phenomenon of child labor, the growth of the phenomenon of street children, the increase in child delinquency rates and the spread of crimes among them.” He said: “Yemen will cost billions of dollars to address these issues.”  future social phenomena and problems.