x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Support for solar panels

Readers think solar energy is a good match for the sun-soaked UAE. Other letter topics: teen drivers, school standards and dowries.

Readers support the use of solar panels like those installed by Tony Caden in Dubai.
Readers support the use of solar panels like those installed by Tony Caden in Dubai.

Congratulations to Tony Caden for installing solar energy panels on his house in Jumeirah Islands (The sun hots up, the house cools down, May 26).

It's no secret that we get a lot of sunlight in the UAE, so it's a surprise that more people haven't followed Mr Caden's lead.

In some other countries, householders are producing more electricity than they need and are feeding it back into the grid. They not only save themselves a big electricity bill, they get a cheque from the power company.

J Hennings, Abu Dhabi

Bravo, this is the way to go. It just stuns me that in this part of the world, where we have sun on most days of the year, individual solar panels on private homes are not more encouraged.

This is not just for the sake of saving money, but for the sake of saving the world.

Jochen Sautter, Dubai

Young drivers are a risk to others

Regarding New rule lets youth learn to drive at 17 (May 26), I feel sorry for other road users with 18-year-olds behind the wheels of powerful cars that were given to them as a present from parents when they passed their test.

Jill Thompson, Abu Dhabi

A nation defined by its migrants

As is frequently done, the author of the Comment article Despite anxiety, UAE can take pride in migration policy (May 27) confuses immigration with migration.

Immigrants are those who have come to a new country which will, once they have gone through the requisite procedures, grant them citizenship.

Migrants, on the other hand, are people who migrate for work and other economic opportunities. Some also migrate to escape the violence of civil war and political persecution. Immigrants intend to stay in their new country while migrants normally do not.

In the UAE, foreign workers have contracts which are time-specific and residence visas which are tied to contracts.

The UAE does have an immigration policy but not because immigration is encouraged; an individual may apply to be considered for "naturalisation" only after long years here. The foreign population are migrants, not immigrants.

Jane Bristol-Rhys, Abu Dhabi

Money can't buy you love

I agree with An inexpensive dowry is most valuable of all (May 24).

Real love and affection from the heart is the dowry one should aspire to; nothing can equal that. Love will last forever, but money can be gone in no time.

KB Vijayakumar, Dubai

Who's the real American?

I refer to James Zogby's flight of fantasy Tarring Obama as the 'other' obscures Republican failings (May 27).

Mr Zogby argues that Mitt Romney, by claiming to represent American values, is subtly saying that Barack Obama is un-American.

This is quite a claim, considering that every US politician since George Washington has babbled endlessly about "American" this and "American" that. On President Obama's campaign website, barackobama.com, the section on job-creation alone has the words "American" and "Americans" 22 times.

Why doesn't Mr Zogby admit that this proves the president is sending poorly disguised messages saying that Mr Romney, being a Mormon, is not a real American?

What claptrap. Surely Mr Romney is entitled to suggest that nationalising the medical system, for example, is not in line with traditional American values.

Mr Zogby needs to find more plausible ways to support his incessant pro-Obama bias.

Everett McKinley, Dubai

Schools fail by not failing students

I write in response to the news story 88% not ready for uni in English (May 25). I believe the issue of students not having the minimum skills ties in with the idea of grade inflation.

Many students should be failing in their English classes, but the schools are afraid to fail students.

I am a secondary teacher at a private school and I can tell you that many of my students (both local and expatriates) are at least one to two years behind grade level in English. Yet these students are passed on by their schools.

This inability of school administrations to fail students who deserve to fail, coupled with rampant grade inflation and cheating, is doing nothing to help students.

When the school administrations finally start failing students who deserve to fail, then you will be able to start to change the culture and implement a pedagogical change.

Until then, it is just re-arranging desk chairs on the Titanic.

Name withheld by request, Abu Dhabi