AT the gates of one of the university colleges, I saw a group of students last week leaving in a way that appeared as if they were skipping lectures. As this group was exiting the campus, one of their friends was going in. They asked this student to go with them to the cafe. He told them that he had to attend this lecture, but they asked him to skip it just like they did.
This made me think why our students, or a large percentage of them, skip lectures until they reach the maximum number of absences where they get banned from attending college? Is it because such students are at the university not because they want to learn but to give themselves and their families an excuse to waste time away from work? They know that there is no job waiting them when they graduate, so this way they delay unemployment.
Or maybe it is because these students are studying in a college they did not want to attend as they did not obtain a score high enough to be accepted in the college of their choice. Or maybe it is that the environment inside our lecture rooms is not attractive as most of our lecturers are old-fashioned and live in the past, practicing their traditional way of sitting behind a desk and reading to the students.
End of the day, we are facing a serious problem with students playing truancy even as we spend millions of riyals on our universities to secure a high quality education for our children. It is something that we need to examine and find ways to rectify.
Finally, if our students were admitted to their choicest colleges regardless of their grades, would we see them filling the lecture rooms? This is a question I asked many students and the answer by most of them was they would not.