Riyadh students face charges for hurling shoes at principal

March 1, 2013

Students in a private high school in Riyadh face assault charges after they hurled shoes and water bottles at the principal.

The 11th graders were caught fighting in a classroom and the principal, upset over their lack of discipline, walked in and told them that they would not be given special preparatory training for the school exams and that the final exams would include questions on all chapters in the textbook, local news site Sabq reported on Tuesday.

However, the students upset over the decision, gathered following the collective noon prayers and hurled shoes and bottles of mineral water at the principal.

According to the news site, which withheld the name of the school, the principal said that he would contact the security authorities to alert them about the incident.

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The students hauled up in connection with the incident complained that the principal was “particularly strict” in dealing with them.

Bloggers were divided over the incident, but most condemned the students for their rowdy behaviour.

DveDov, a blogger, blamed the Education Ministry for the deterioration of standards in schools.

“There is no dignity for teachers today because there is no enforcement of the discipline rules and regulations,” DveDov posted. “May God help them. It is all the ministry’s fault.”

Blogger Lost Education said that the school principal was right in adopting a strict policy, but said that the new approach to learning had undermined standards. “True education is lost today because we have super spoiled students,” the blogger wrote. “We have students in elementary schools carrying mobile phones and we have students as young as eight who have been unashamedly introduced to everything as if they were 22 years old.”

Ali Oun backed the principal’s decision to include all chapters for the school exams. “We used to face exams that did not exclude anything and, at times, we thought they would ask us about page numbers and the biography of the authors,” Ali posted. “The main issue is that students nowadays have developed serious concerns about their post-graduation options and opportunities. They are concerned about their future.”

Speaking for the students, Shame Whisper said that the principal deserved the treatment. “He should not have put them under more pressure than they already face,” the blogger wrote.

A blogger nicknamed ‘Suzaaaaaan’ said that textbooks were no longer useful. “Around 60 per cent of the textbooks today add no value to education or learning,” the blogger said. “Most of their information is useless and cannot be of any assistance to the student’s future. Education strategists should come up with new ideas, such as only five months of book-based education and three months of electronically-driven learning that allows students to connect with the real world. Education and lifestyles have changed and improved dramatically and our schools still cling to old-fashioned teachers and their famous canes and do not teach students much.”




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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