x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Action on pet cruelty applauded

A reader welcomes the enforcement of laws against mistreating animals. Other letter topics: higher education, recycling and solar energy.

A reader applauds a crackdown on the mistreatment of caged animals in pet stores. Ravindranath K / The National
A reader applauds a crackdown on the mistreatment of caged animals in pet stores. Ravindranath K / The National

I am very confused by your storyMorsi visits Ethiopia to seek unity in Nile nations (July 16).

With all the sun in the Middle East, why is anyone even considering 19th century-style dams that have been proven to destroy the environment and create huge problems by displacing populations?

Surely there is another way to deal with water sharing. Hydroelectricity via dams is not the answer, either.

Why is solar power not front and centre of the agenda? With all the brilliant minds in the Middle East and the great expanses of desert, solar is the only solution to future energy concerns.

The Middle East could well become a global leader in this field.

Pam Jacob, US


HCT moving in wrong direction


Regarding Hundreds of students face college rejection (July 22), Dr Naji Al Mahdi and the people at Nive are on target, and meeting a national need.

This needs to be replicated across the UAE. As a career counsellor and job-placement specialist at Zayed University and Abu Dhabi Men's College, I saw this need first hand for seven years.

Unfortunately, I disagree with the current direction of the Higher Colleges of Technology in moving toward degree programmes. They are not responding to market needs, and need to return to their original mission.

Currently, the four- year bachelor degrees awarded by HCT are only credited for two-and-half years of study based on American standards. This is after the student has spent two years in foundation work followed by four years for a degree. That's six years of study to obtain something valued as two-and-half year.

I have worked with many Emirati graduates wanting to pursue education in the US. Those graduating from Zayed University have little difficulty obtaining admission.

HCT graduates with good grades obtain admission, but are shocked to learn they must complete one-and-half years of further study in the US to be recognised as a bachelor graduate. This is obviously a costly and time consuming requirement that they didn't expect.

At least in relation to wanting to study in the US, they would be better off pursuing their education immediately after high school, or obtaining an associate degree from HCT or another UAE institution, and transferring to the US for their final two years of bachelor study.

They could complete this process in four years and have an official American bachelor's degree.

With the new scholarship programme recently announced by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, this model could be significantly enhanced as an option for future students.

Jerry McDonald, US

Recycling is part of Arab culture

Regarding Get public involved in recycling cause (July 20), recycling and sustainability are nothing new in this part of the world.

However, these notions are now just memories, replaced by the consumerist culture.

There is much in Arab culture and history that promotes conservation and recycling.

What I find strange is why these age-old strategies have not been reintroduced.

Joe Burns, Abu Dhabi

Action on cruelty to pets applauded

I was pleased to read Appeal to protect neglected pets (July 24).

The Dubai Government should be congratulated for moving against pet shops that so cruelly exploit both the animals they sell and the people they sell them to.

It's good to know that there are harsh penalties for the mistreatment of animals. I hope the authorities are prepared to hand out more Dh20,000 fines, and maybe a few jail sentences, to drive the message home to the offenders.

Margaret Smith, Dubai

Is it time for Air India to fly away?

Regarding Airline struggles after strike (July 24), why doesn't the Indian government just wrap up Air India altogether?

Obviously the airline is a shambles. It doesn't make any profit, its passengers are almost always inconvenienced and the employees are obviously not happy.

I am sure no one, Indian or otherwise, would miss it if Air India closed down for good.

U Ubaid, Abu Dhabi

Mukherjee victory a win for integrity

The outcome of the Indian presidential election (Mukherjee coasts to victory for presidency, July 23) was widely expected.

In spite of the ruling Congress party's reputation for corruption and scams, the election of that party's candidate reflects Pranab Mukherjee's integrity and anti-corruption stance.

K Ragavan, India