Thursday, December 13, 2007

University Staff Payroll Dilemma

I urge you to read this article about the crisis of the University staff payroll that's currently discussed by Egyptian professors and researchers, I think the link will work fine because it's not from Al-Ahram..

I have no comment on the article except that I think the sufferers are a very small section and not the whole sector..that's based on my observation..maybe the picture is more gloomy in Cairo, being the capital and all. As for young researchers and assisting staff (like me and my colleagues) I know the situation is bad, and I don't think I'm a whistleblower if I state that the only way some can make ends meet is via private tutoring. I don't think it's a wrong way in itself, because I know that it's acceptable practice around the world. I think what makes it a frowned-upon activity is two reasons: the first being this idea that we don't want the students to believe that by taking private lessons they can figure out what the exam will be like since the assisting staff will have a clear idea. The second reason is this "stupid" concept that the state employee should not work outside of the government as this will tarnish his "dignified image". I don't understand what's wrong with having a job that helps people improve their life standard. REGULATE, people! Don't prohibit!
I don't know, I never had the urge to work extra hours in other places, but I don't blame people who do that unless the other work affects their performance in their primary job. After all, I have this ideal image about my job not just being about "delivering" information to students, it's more about helping them "formulate" knowledge about the world and about themselves. It's not just the average job, it's a message to be conveyed.

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