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University students demand separation of education and politics in new protest

Published on 4 October 2012 in News
Ashraf Al-Muraqab (author)

Ashraf Al-Muraqab


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Students carry signs and chant outside Sana’a University.  Protestors complain the school’s politics are interfering with their education and want classes to resume despite a teacher strike. (Photo courtesy of As’ad Al-Emad)

Students carry signs and chant outside Sana’a University. Protestors complain the school’s politics are interfering with their education and want classes to resume despite a teacher strike. (Photo courtesy of As’ad Al-Emad)

SANA’A — Sana’a University students staged a demonstration Wednesday demanding that studies resume separate from the political conflict currently inundating the university. Students also continued to   refuse the presence of military personnel on the university campus.

Mohammed Al-Hawsaly, a student protestor, said students are continually the victims of political conflict at the university.

This new demonstration coincided with media reports that Doctor Majdi Aqlan refused Prime Minister Mohammed Basindawa’s decree appointing him as acting rector of the university. Reports suggest Basindawa appointed Doctor Abdulhakeem Al-Sharjabi after Aqlan turned down the post.

Doctor Abdulla Al-Azazi, head of the Teaching Staff Syndicate at the university, told the Yemen Times the syndicate will soon meet with President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to discuss the situation at Sana’a University, adding that the teaching staff supports amending the university law to hold elections. Hadi is currently out of the country on a tour of western nations.

Doctor Abdulhakeem Al-Sharjabi, the acting rector, asserted the importance of resuming the educational process at the university, which was affected negatively due to the strike that was started by teaching staff two weeks ago.

In a television interview Tuesday, Al-Sharjabi said the educational deterioration Sana’a University is currently witnessing is something he has never  seen. He said it is very essential to improve education levels in accordance with Sana’a University’s reputation as the biggest and oldest educational edifice.

“Disagreement arose between the teaching staff at Sana’a University, and it is important to settle this disagreement for the advantage of students,” he said.

Al-Sharjabi called on the teaching staff, employees and the Student Union to work together for the good of the university, requesting they give priority to public interest. He said he’ll deal with each group separately, and he will solve the problems with full cooperation by everyone involved.

In a meeting held in Sabeen Square, Doctor Ahmed Basarda, the dismissed rector, called on the prime minister to end all acts of violence happening inside the university, to punish whomever pays money to people from outside the university to create chaos and to provide security for the employees at Sana’a University to have suitable place to study.

Basarda deemed the prime minister’s decree appointing a new rector as a derogation of President Hadi’s decrees. He said it was aimed to undermine political compromise as well as to negatively affect university education, employees and students by giving the authority of the university to a certain political party, which is considered a violation of the law and the constitution.

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