Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Segregation again...Diwaniya

Al-Onaizi: “men should always come first, then the woman.”

I didn't hear this one myself when I watched the re-run of Dr. Ghabra's Diwaniya yesterday. I wasn't able to stay tuned as Al-Onaizi kept going around in circles, failing to answer questions directly, and swaying away from the main topic (If this was one of the papers my students present, I'd have OFF-POINT written all over the pages)
Did he actually say men should come first? or is this taken out of contest?

School's starting soon, and segregation will again present itself as a hurdle in assigning classes to teachers. I just had to add a boys only class to our schedule to cater for the need of probably 2 or 3 students when I have other classes that hold 10 students over the limit with some still on the waiting list. In a department that is predominantly female, it becomes almost impossible to maintain segregation. Our literature male students are even fewer in number than our linguistics ones which means that many of them have to spend more years in college that they should just to be able to find the classes they need.

As we promote classroom discussions and student interaction in the knowledge-learning process, classes of 2-3 students seem to be a barrier hard to cross. Small classrooms are usually easier to handle in terms of discussions, with everyone given the chance to participate. But 2-3 students is not a classroom. It's private tutoring. And the rules for private tutoring do not hold for classroom discussions that should promote an interactive, debate-based discussion. 2-3 student classrooms means teachers have to resort to lecturing, so we're back to students listening, teachers speaking, exams being proof of the students ability to memorize what the teachers says in class.

So much for liberal/creative thinking.