x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Four more years?

With a recent series of controversial decisions, a reader wonders what the future holds of US President Barack Obama's re-election bid. Other letter topics today: fixing the UAE's education system, ending school-yard bullying, a better way to punish drug offenders, and cutting the red tape in free zones.

A reader questions the re-election prospects of US President Barack Obama. (Aaron Favila / AP)
A reader questions the re-election prospects of US President Barack Obama. (Aaron Favila / AP)

This refers to the editorial article Let schools improve by competition (May 11).

Traditionally schools in this part of the world have followed set curriculum and practices for years.

This requires a change. Parents, too, have to be involved and contribute to enhance the quality of learning. It further requires transformation in line with prevailing circumstances. However, the important aspect here is to improve schools' infrastructure and facilities, and develop a competitive teaching community to impart knowledge to the next generation.

It is a matter of fact that teachers have not been given frequent training and assessment programmes to help improve their teaching skills. There needs to be a fair approach towards the mentors who are the driving force for students.

There must be a meaningful change in the educational structure, irrespective of its grades and levels, across the region.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Government must protect students

I write in response to your story, Too many schools fail to lift form (May 8). It is a crime to offer unaccredited courses and offer even accredited courses at substandard levels while charging high fees.

It is the duty of the Government to protect the interests of the children and their parents.

In the age of competition and globalisation, the level of knowledge, skill and expertise possessed by a person determines his or her role and success.

Every aspect of education must be brought under social accounting and auditing.

Dr Raju M Mathew, Al Ain

Details on US politics lacking

I refer to your Saloon article in Saturday's Review, 'Make or break moment' (May 12) by Nick March.

OK, the Sarkozy and Cameron stories are relevant, but I was hoping you would at least come back to President Obama near the end and close with your prediction for the US elections, or at least link his fortunes to people's perception of the US economy.

The article left me wondering what real lesson Mr Obama might draw, and looking for comments on how his latest stance on same-sex marriage - a major political gamble or manoeuvre on a strictly social issue - might affect his re-election chances.

Bassem P Fakhry, Dubai

First aid training vital for airport

Your story Airline first-aid training facility 'best in the UAE' (May 11) refers to a good initiative.

Dubai is a hub for carrying millions of passengers and it will gain this extra skill which is purely related to the lives of human beings.

Naeem Ul Fateh, UK

There is no escape from bullying

There used to be a time when you could get away from bullying (Which parenting style do you subscribe to? May 8). But it's not that way any more.

For children that are being bullied, it now follows them home and everywhere because so much of the bullying happens online.

Lots of children turn to drastic measures to either protect themselves or hurt themselves. Bullying, no matter where it happens, is so tragic.

Heather Harrison, US

Deportation best for drug offenders

Regarding the 32-year-old British engineer who admitted possessing and consuming drugs (Hashish was a big mistake, May 10), just deport him.

Putting him away for four years will be wasting the life of a young man who has caused no harm.

Slap him with a heavy fine and deport him. It's also much more cost efficient than putting him behind bars for four years and then deporting him.

He's unlikely ever to come back either way.

Ziad Q, Abu Dhabi

Free zone blamed for visa delays

We were with Virtuzone for two years and experienced real issues with each new visa (Clients of Fujairah's Virtuzone rue licence and residence visa delays, May 8).

We are now with Creative City directly. It costs less and we just received a new visa in four weeks. So the problem isn't quite what they, Virtuzone administrators, are saying.

We were told the same thing; that it was the Fujairah Free Zone that was causing the issues. Yet after we had a major issue with Virtuzone and moved directly to Creative City we haven't had a single problem.

Lee Mancini, Dubai