x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Entire educational system needs reexamination

The news article 'Apology to parents of dismissed students' reported that the provost of Abu Dhabi University apologised to the parents of 126 students expelled for underperformance.

The news article Apology to parents of dismissed students (October 18) reported that the provost of Abu Dhabi University apologised to the parents of 126 students expelled for underperformance. Suggestion: Interview the students who were dismissed. Interview their parents. Interview the high school counsellors that suggested these students go to university (and perhaps even wrote letters of recommendation for them). Interview the university acceptance policies. Interview the professors who were "unable" to motivate or educate these students. Interview the academic advisors. Interview the university leaders responsible for policies towards programme change. Often the real purpose of re-organisation is to deflect attention away from the incompetence of those who are unable to do their job. Cynical but true.

An aside: Too much credibility is given to those with a PhD. A PhD does not mean anything except that the person has a profound knowledge of a teeny-weeny part of reality. PhDs are traditionally not taught to teach, manage their time, tutor, supervise, or lead.

Interview those who are in the system, part of the problem, and the victims of the system.

Tom Pattilo, Ras Al Khaimah


The endgame of Star Trek analogy

As a huge Star Trek fan, I found Rehan Khan's business comment piece The assimilation of enterprise may leave little to cling on to (October 18) amusing and enlightening. To compare the likes of Oracle with a more aggressive Borg made me chortle. While Oracle seeks to gobble up the smaller systems it comes in to contact with, one can ask the question: is this perhaps the start of what will become the mighty Federation (as in Star Trek)? A time when we are no longer worried about profit, making money, or achieving world domination, but rather a time when there is no competition, just the very best of what we can offer; a time when we are working to improve ourselves, when the economics of the future have changed towards bettering our universe as opposed to our bank balances.

Perhaps in the creation of a monopoly of the best of the best, we will achieve our Utopia - as long as it's not the Umbrella Corporation in control, I'm fine with it. Live long and prosper.

BT, Abu Dhabi


Wind towers can only go so far

The article Old wind towers the new cooling system (October 17) reported that Ben Hughes, a researcher at Heriot-Watt University's Dubai campus recently received a grant to adapt traditional wind towers to a zero-energy cooling system.

Maybe I can save Mr Hughes some time. In most of the coastal areas of the UAE, a 90 per cent efficient evaporative cooler can only get the summer temperatures down to about 28°C-32°C and, as Scotty used to say: "Ye canna change the Laws of Physics, Jim." So to remove heat energy (kinetic or latent) from the air input to the building will always require extra energy expended on the task.

Mark Norris, Dubai


Facebook and Kashmiri protest

I refer to the article Kashmiri protesters turn to Facebook (October 18). Being a Kashmiri, I know the ground reality and hence I believe that the people of the Kashmir valley are being held hostage in the name of "national prestige" and hence have no other option left but to express their anger and frustration and in this case it happens to be through the electronic medium.

Amjah Shan, Dubai


India is using all forms of suppressive methods to muzzle the voice of Kashmiris but the resilient Kashmiris will not bow down. It took 150 years for India to free herself from British rule. Kashmir has been under occupation for the last 63 years, but we will make India leave Kashmir very soon.

Mansour Khan, Abu Dhabi


Public awareness campaign needed

Can you remember a day when you have read a newspaper and did not find a car accident reported? This is a serious issue that should be dealt with through intensive awareness sessions from kindergarten through university. An education methodology should be developed as soon as possible to reduce the number of accidents.

Salem Alkaabi, Dubai


Bad memories of 1980s perfume

In reference to the article The Beauty Spy: On 1980s scents (October 12), thank God I didn't see a redux of Giorgio on that list.

Nothing takes me back to the 1980s - in a bad way - as much as Giorgio Beverly Hills perfume and the young women who polluted entire buildings with one spray of it.

Elan Fabbri, Dubai