‘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.