Why do we reject positive criticism?

Why do we reject positive criticism?

Muhammad Hathoot

Muhammad Hathoot
Makkah Online

Occasionally, weird news that contradicts the government’s new policies comes out regarding King Khalid University. We were surprised and shocked when we read that the university suspended a group of female students this semester and said it would fail them in certain courses. This was because they went on Twitter and talked about their ongoing suffering at the university and started a hashtag to elicit attention.

Was this a misdemeanor? If it was, do these students deserve to be punished in this way? Being suspended and given a failing grade means one thing: these students’ futures have been destroyed forever. Today, we have thousands of students studying abroad and returning to the Kingdom in search of job opportunities. How will these female students who have been suspended compete with those students in the job market? Who would prefer a student who was suspended from study to a student with a good academic standing?

The only thing I can conclude from this story is that some of the people leading the university are authoritative and controlling. They see things in their own way and reject other ways. Apparently the university takes a harsh stance on students who criticize it. For example, Saad Al-Qahtani is an outstanding student; in fact, he is an extraordinary student. He was suspended for an entire semester and deprived of his rights as a citizen because he tweeted several times about the restrooms at the university and how they needed improving.

What is worse is that the dean of the college asked him to apologize to the dean of admissions and registration and even kiss his head to show remorse. Staff members are flagrantly warning students against criticizing them or the university. They are unaware that times have changed and they are living in the era of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz.

A number of ministers, note I am saying ministers not deans, were relieved of their positions following some videos that went viral on the Internet which showed that the ministers were not doing their jobs well. King Salman is sending out a clear message to everyone—negligence is unacceptable. He is also letting people know that it does not matter if videos appear on social media; a negligent official is a negligent official and the government does not want negligent officials to remain in their positions.

I have criticized several government agencies including the Ministry of Labor on social media. According to the rules at King Khalid University, I deserve to be punished for this but the Ministry of Labor did not do anything because the minister believes in development and that criticism helps with positive changes. I was even contacted and encouraged to pinpoint mistakes because this would help them avoid mistakes in the future.

In one of his speeches, King Salman said to the media: “Be welcoming to anyone who points out your mistakes.” However, King Khalid University says: “Woe to anyone who points out our mistakes.”