x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Make genetic disease screening mandatory

Readers respond to coverage from The National.

A riverfront view of the city of Zurich. After the freezing of the assets of the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, a reader questions the past behaviour of Swiss banks in hiding wealth. Peter Frommenwiler /Bloomberg
A riverfront view of the city of Zurich. After the freezing of the assets of the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, a reader questions the past behaviour of Swiss banks in hiding wealth. Peter Frommenwiler /Bloomberg

I refer to the editorial A plan to tackle genetic disorders (February 21). Shouldn't screening for genetic disorders after birth be done on a mandatory basis, especially for the high risk groups? Genetic testing done at birth for 100 metabolic disorders at least provides a protective cover to safeguard the child's health.

Early detection also means early start of treatment and a near normal life for the baby. A diagnosis at birth saves the child for being diagnosed later in life with irreparable damage caused by the disease.

Andrea Sarosky, Abu Dhabi

Observations on banking practices

The business article NBAD conducts operational risk awareness program in Oman (February 21) mentioned that the National Bank of Abu Dhabi is rated as one of the 50 safest banks in the world. This is not surprising

About seven times out of 10 when you try to log in to your account you get a message saying that the system is unavailable and please try accessing it later.

If you can't access your own account, your money has got to be safe, hasn't it?

Jeremy P Weeks, Abu Dhabi

I refer to the business article Swiss banks start to disclose Mubarak assets (February 16). Swiss banks used to be the shady lady in the financial world. Why was this system allowed for all these years? And does the Swiss government have no responsibility for hiding ill-gotten wealth from the whole world?

Jayan Nair, Abu Dhabi

Football coach just doing his job

In reference to the article on the recent notorious football scuffle, Tottenham coach Joe Jordan wrong to rile Gennaro Gattuso (February 18), Gattuso is a wind-up merchant. He was trying to get someone sent off all game with his ridiculous antics. Jordan played him at his own game.

It seems like Gattuso likes to dish it out but can't take his own medicine. Coaches always shout during games and make comments to players. Jordan just hit the right buttons. Job done: goodbye Gattuso.

Ben Wilby, Abu Dhabi

Suggestions on improving schools

I read the front page news article Schools 'failing 4,000 pupils' (February 22) with interest, but I would like to share my experience of what the schools and parents must do to enhance the educational experience of the child. After all, the responsibility of schools and parents should extend not only to academically educating the child but preparing the child for adulthood. Unfortunately, the present world appears too fixated on simply wanting children to crack the exams.

We need to step back a minute and ask ourselves how can we make the child confident and enjoy the overall education experience. And I do not mean simply paying lip service to this overall education concept.

Take mathematics as an example. Many global surveys have shown that it is the weakest link in the child's skill set especially as the current system, biased towards success on exams, is unable to prepare the child for lifelong mathematics skills.

An improved system where the child is given regular learning opportunities at school with lots of real life problems and where their work is accurately tracked so weaknesses in the child's abilities can be addressed in a timely manner should be put in place. That would avoid the panic at exam time and be better for a student's retention of knowledge.

Jay Jobanputra, UK

In light of four articles about the failure of schools, I suggest that the Ministry of Education should kindly consider increasing the salaries for the Asian community teachers from the existing Dh1,350 to Dh2,500. There should be a minimum wage set around Dh4,000 to Dh5,000, considering the expense of living in this country. We need a decent living.

CC, Dubai

Language training needs a boost

The news article France and Britain hope to find a language in common (February 22) addressed efforts in both countries to improve the learning of English and French.

I was a school governor for one of Greater London's schools and I have seen obstacles and objections to teaching any non-European language. It is my opinion any of the the main international languages (Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Swahili) should be part of the language curriculum.

I am surprised to find GCC Arab children speaking English as their mode of communication. No language should be given priority over the native tongue in the same way not being able to speak English in the UK is socially divisive.

Davud Burns, UK