English language is not essential for every student

A reader says students should be encouraged to pursue different academic fields. Other topics: lorry safety on UAE highways, the Muslim Brotherhood and cheating husbands.

Foundation year at UAE state universities to be scrapped from 2018 (February 4) refers to a debate that has been going on for a long time, and now a deadline has been set.

What I don’t understand is the apparent insistence that all Emirati high school graduates obtain a qualification in English, which is not their mother tongue.

This rule assumes that all students are identical academically and equally gifted. Nowhere in the world is every student capable of successfully learning a second language.

Those who cannot learn English should be encouraged to study Arabic to a tertiary level. Their skills could be used in the workforce to help strengthen trade and relations between the UAE and other GCC countries.

The other point I’d like to raise is that only 49 per cent of UK high school graduates applied for places at university last year. While factors such as the cost of education may have had a part to play, it shows that many people are aware that university is not where they will excel.

Some people choose to enter the workforce and get on-the-job training through apprenticeships or being sponsored by their companies to attend evening classes.

Other high school students may prefer to attend a two-year college course that will give them a trade licence, and they will become plumbers, electricians or mechanics, for example.

As the article states, some students are not equipped with the appropriate study skills, work ethic, level of maturity or knowledge to study science and maths. This is not restricted to the UAE, it is a global issue.

UAE schools have been set quite a challenge, but I really think an equal amount of focus should be spent on providing further education which will meet the needs of all learners and not just those who are gifted academically.

Name withheld by request

Brotherhood show their true colours

I refer to Hassan Hassan's opinion article Even as the sands shift, the Brotherhood stays the same (February 4).

Even if the Muslim Brotherhood stays the same, the Brotherhood’s pillars are gone from Egypt.

Its ideologies and ways have surfaced, letting Egyptians know exactly what it and its members hold dear.

Azza Sedky, Canada

Lorry drivers must heed safety rules

Safety is of paramount importance when it comes to the presence and behaviour of lorries on our highways (Set maximum driving hours for truck drivers, UAE transport companies told,February 3).

It is important for drivers of heavy vehicles to have periodic training about maintaining safety and discipline on the road.

It is essential for logistics controllers to allow sufficient time for vehicles to complete a journey, taking into account all anticipated traffic delays on the route.

It is also very important for other road users to report any rash driving involving heavy vehicles.

All large vehicles should be required to display a reachable contact number for other motorists to contact if they see poor driving, speeding or a faulty vehicle.

This should also be the case for lorries coming into the UAE from other countries. Often their number plates are hidden behind a road permit board.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Rubbernecks are a nuisance on roads

Rubbernecks could be jailed, traffic prosecutor says (February 4) raises a good point.

These people are nuisances, and when you honk at them, they glare at you in their rear-view mirror.

Osama Rashid, Dubai

Cheaters may get wrong message

In Abu Dhabi wife stabs 'cheating husband' with kitchen knife over alleged affair (February 5), a police officer warns men who are unfaithful to their wives not to keep sharp kitchen utensils.

How about warning them not to cheat on their wives in the first place?

Sarah Norton, UK

Would couples in this situation have to eat out every day?

If they have no sharp knives, there would not be many utensils left in the kitchen to cook with.

A Watt, Sharjah