Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Couple of Questions

"When you teach a student and then examine then mark his examination papers and fill his evaluation sheets and keep it home and then this same student gets a certificate that he passed the exams with s certain score WHILE YOU STILL ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS BOTH THE EXAMINATION PAPERS, MARKED WITH YOUR OWN HANDWRITING AND THE EVALUATION SHEETS, what do you say, How can this happen?"
End of question.


Back in July 2008, I was assigned by Berlitz Egypt to teach in a project called "Edu Egypt" which stands for educating Egypt. A project held by the ministry of communication aiming to serve graduates of both faculty of commerce and computer science in both Ain Shams and Cairo Universities. Giving them soft skills and English Courses. Berlitz was responsible for the English courses and I was there to teach three English levels for three classes with 12-15 students for each class, in faculty of commerce, Ain Shams University.

I will not talk about the kind of "working environment" we as Berlitz employees faced through this project - this is a totally different, yet not by far less amusing story- Now the course is over.
Couple of weeks ago, my 40 something students received their certificates from Berlitz that they attended three levels at Berlitz Egypt and passed the three level with score ...

I have the examination papers for all my students for level 2 and 3
I have the evaluation sheets for the same students for level 2 and 3
I have their answer sheets with their handwriting, also level 2 and 3

One of my students called me cause he was puzzled by the score and I told him this was wrong and they lied. And then I told him we had to fight this cause it was wrong.
"So what" He said " Nothing will happen ya Dr., you think anyone can get his rights in this country? why should I get mine"

Is this what I should teach my students? Is this what "EDUCATING EGYPT" is all about? What should I tell this student? and How can I face my students afterwords when I go and teach them about "Identity", "Human Rights" and the rest all these fine words?
I was once told by one of my students that these were cliches of no real values and I told him it all depended on him and what he believes in!

Today I don't know .. What should I have told this student? And what should I tell the other one now?
I know it's a matter of time before the people at Berlitz get an idea about this "first but not last" article and I have no idea how they will react - but it's not that hard to imagine- but frankly, I don't care

Update Sunday 28/12/2008:
I got in touch with the Berlitz Egypt administration from which I was told that what I think to be violation is nothing but me not understanding some technical details.
For example, the results the students got are not based on the exams but on the students performance and this - according to them - is proved by documents, and that the examination sheets I have, actually have nothing to do with the results.
On the other hand, the fact that I have the exams is against all rules and it can be considered against the law!!!


King Ahmose said...

Hi Doctor

Well I am an Egyptian who lives in Europe and I know very well what the real goal of western Organizations like Berlitz is. It is not about educating Egypt, it is the contrary!
You should raise your voice in press because this is a prove about what the west is really planing with Egypt!

Shimaa Gamal said...

I believe that the only reason we can't get our rights in this country is that we all believe there is no use of fighting.
We were raised not to demand for our rights, we were raised to be passive and we were raised that being active is always equal to being aggresssive. (Consequently it is a crime to act!!)

We will never have our rights before believing that it is legitimate to ask, to wonder and to demand. None of this is offensive.