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Volume :10 Issue : 38 1984      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

EDUCATION IN THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF YEMEN BEFORE INDEPENDENCE

Auther : By: Alawi Abdullah Taher

British colonial rule of Aden and South Yemen deprived the Yemeni people from any opportunity for education throughout its long period of occupation. The first school was established after over seventeen years of British occupation of Aden (1839), to be closed two years later. The encouragement of immigration from all parts of the commonwealth was deliberate policy to obliterate the national identity. Arab students, therefore, represented only 8% of the total number of students of the primary school established in 1866. Aden’s affiliation with the British administration in India had drastic effects since almost all the teachers and the educational system were Indians. Prior to 1937 when Aden became a Crown Colony, there were altogether some three thousand students in both governmental and private schools, most with a low standard of teaching.

Under popular pressure, the British administration was forced to expand education, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The percentage of literates rose from 29% in 1946 to 48% in 1955. However, education was mainly confined to Aden to cater for the needs of the administration and foreign enterprises, for half-educated clerks and office employees. Technical education on the other hand, was limited to Aden, where the technical institute harboured not more than 200 trainees. The countryside in the other protectorates was bereaved from modern education apart from small numbers of schools scattered here and there with precarious educational facilities. This deplorable state of affair incited the citizens to establish twenty schools in the different regions of the country. The number of students who were sent abroad to further their education did not exceed 28 students (16 to Sudan, 4 to Iraq, 5 to Syria and 3 to Egypt).

By the end of 1960 there were approximately 142 teachers, 107 of whom taught in 35 primary schools. Girl’s education was very restricted due to a number of social factors and illiteracy remained widespread until the day of independence in November 30, 1967.

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