[lg policy] No offices for language teachers

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon May 13 11:58:35 EDT 2019

‘No offices for language teachers’

1 day ago

*‘Effects of dismantling center continue to this day’*

KUWAIT CITY, May 11: “We used to work under the management of one academic
body, the center was our umbrella, we worked on developing ourselves for
years, until the decision to dismantle it suddenly for no obvious reason,
and our dreams for administrative or academic development were shattered,”
said Dr Saud Al-Abdullah in a mold indicative of lack of resourcefulness,
reports Al-Rai daily.

In 2010, Language Center at the Kuwait University was dismantled and only
three units remained in the College of Arts, while the rest of the units
were distributed to the 16 faculties of the university. The language
teachers who lost their main position and became at the mercy of this or
that, began to suffer. The subject of dismantling the language center is
not new, but its effects continue to this day.

The damage is still attached to the teacher of the language, which the
university does not give the title of faculty member, and considers his
scholarship to be insignificant. They have not been sponsored for even
master’s degree in eight years while last year’s bachelor’s degree holders
get better priority, according to English language teacher at the
university Saud Al-Abdullah and his colleague, Vice President of the
Faculty Members’ Association, Shamlan Al-Qena’ie. Dr Al-Abdullah said “all
units were affiliated with the Language Center, and the center was
responsible for setting up fresh graduate scholarships for the Masters in
England and America. Today, after dismantling the center, we stand in one
place after 9 years without any academic development”.

In the past, they used to send us on scholarship for doctorate, now only
master, although our labor market needs doctors, he stated, noting the
language teachers were not even sent for the master’s degree for nearly
eight years, although the scholarship to obtain master’s degree was
available. This job is of great importance to the university, and they
prefer hiring rather than scholarship. Dr Al-Qena’ie explained that Kuwait
University’s policy has shifted from sending the language teachers to
obtain a master’s degree abroad to employing master’s degree holders from
Kuwait University.

He indicated it would have been good if the level of English among
university students has not declined in recent years. “The English language
is divided into two parts, the first is the teaching of the science behind
the language, and the second part is the teaching of the language itself,”
he explained. The Language Center was concerned with teaching the same
language, but for graduates of the Department of English the degree of
specialization differ between linguistics, literature, translation and
teaching methods, while the university was employing all of these grades to
teach, he added.

Al-Qena’ie said the university finally realized this point and tried to
resolve it in the last two years by going back to the English department at
the College of Arts to verify and correct the error by ensuring that
appropriate grades will be put to the job. He pointed out that the
Al-Shadadiya University Campus is great in all respects. However, the
campus does not include offices for language teachers. This is surprising,
noting “they put our offices in the corridors’, although the second phase
that has not yet been opened has a sufficient number of offices, but the
language teacher is not important to them. Al-Abdullah said that staying at
the current campus of Kuwait University is better for them. It is not
respectful to have offices in the corridors. “And you can imagine how many
students are visiting the doctors every day around the clock,” he lamented.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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