We all know that AUI-S is a high-standardized academic institution. We all know that our professors and instructors are, with all confidence, good at their jobs, teaching methods, skills, and other educational practices.
This notion was highly expected when we first came to AUIS.
What about now?
AUIS is growing. Each year many students join the campus hoping to get a quality education that is missing elsewhere in Iraq. However, for the students who have been in AUIS for more than a year, the reality is different.
We used to experience, in the Iraqi high schools, that only student are blamed for their low grades or not meeting class requirements. While nobody dared to even think about blaming his or her teacher.
By experience, we know that it is a fifty-fifty give-and-take situation from both the student and the instructor to have a better class, a higher quality of education as a result.
In AUIS, the same is about to happen. That is some teachers do struggle with delivering the material, some spend too much time talking about their biography (most of the classes), others spent the first 20 minutes of the lecture on Facebook. Others are subjective when it comes to a simple argument or disagreement with the students.
I have very innocent and basic questions, more basic than what the Egyptians are calling for right now in the Tahrir Square, Cairo.
Who is responsible at AUIS for keeping the instructors on the right track?
Who is responsible when an instructor spends two long semesters on one subject without teaching the students the practical side of it?
Who has the right at AUIS to call upon the instructors when they demonstrate a wrong teaching practice?
Who is responsible on reviewing the quality of the material delivered in class?
Don’t get me wrong, whether you are a student, instructor or a faculty. I’m not accusing anyone. I’m just wondering!
I’m not trying to be pessimistic, for two reasons. First, because I know there are people who are working hard and listening carefully to make AUIS better. Second, we have instructors and professors in AUIS, who are like walking-libraries. They shine knowledge and experience, and the most important of all, well manner and behavior.
However, delivering a quality education is a serious challenge that AUIS needs to consider. AUIS should investigate the best methods of delivering knowledge; teaching practices that are both reasonable in difficulty and beneficialto the students.
This can be done through different ways, if you may listen to my humble suggestions, I will mention one of them. AUIS can have an office of Academic Quality Control (or Knowledge delivery control) provided by the skills and experience of a handful of instructors with excellent records, both academically and professionally. This office can be in direct contact with the students (anonymity can be preserved) to report inappropriate educational practices proven by dates and to work closely with the instructor to avoid them in the future.
These are concerns, and I hope AUIS consider them in the near future, because we all want a better education, anda better AUIS.
*Sarbast Majeed is an Information and System Technology sophomore at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani