On February 1959, the British Ministry of Education in London sent a delegation of 3 members to the Colony of Aden to inspect and assess the college needs.
A confidential report was prepared, after an inspection of 3 days. The report was presented to British authorities in London. The report and other archives are stored at the British Library, London.
Apparently the inspection visit was part of a push for the policy of Adenisation by the British government.
On the general aspect, the report ascertained that :
1. Aden College was created in 1952 within the first five year plan for education initiated in 1948.
2. It provided secondary school education for boys from Aden colony, Aden and Somalia Protectorates after the age of 14 years.
3. There was upper age limit of 15 years on entry for students from the colony but no such limit for students from the Protectorates;
4. Entry to the college was governed by an examination and interview at which in 1958 between 40% and 50% of the applicants were succesful.
5. The fact that about half of the entrants left the college after two years.
On the site, building and equipment:
1. The report found that the site of the college was a bit peculiar because of its location beyond the border of the colony in the township of Sheikh Othman where sand storms prevailed in the Summer months. The dust from the sand storms together with the Summer heat made studying in the mornings difficult and the afternoons intolerable.
2. The report also found that one of the chief drawbacks was the distance of up to 7 miles from Crater to bus 207 students and up to 10 miles from Maalla and Tawahi to bus 72 students. These numbers constituted the bulk of the number of the college student population.
3. The site of the college had been well developed and, with the exception, in the circumstances, was well maintained. The septic tank near the laboratories overflew, during the inspection period of the delegatation.
4. The report praised the good features of the building and stressed that, in general, it was well suited to the needs of work and life of the college.
5. The report was critical of some classroom and laboratoy spaces, teaching rooms being used as dormitories for boarders.
6. The report also stressed that in some aspects, the college was well equipped but deficient in others. It gave the library as an example, in which the text-books and the provisions of library books were evidences of deficiencies. The budget allocatedfor the library to acquire books and magazines was 100 pounds Sterling a year. It also mentioned the lack of sufficient science equipment.
On the Staff of the college:
1. The report documents that since its creation in 1952 and until 1959, the college had 5 Principals and 2 acting Principles.
2. Out of the 25 teaching staff (called assistant masters), 19 were graduates and seven were British expatriates.
3. It mentioned that the staff gave the impression of being industrious and competent though their range of ability varied widely.
4. The report revealed that the staff appeared to the visitor to form a reasonably coherent team. Their relationship with the students were easy, friendly and effective.
On Organisation, Curriculum and Standards of work:
1. In 1959, the report stated that the Aden College student population at the time reached 381 for a college which was designed to accomodate 360. Thus the average size of the classes increased from 25 students per class to 29. But, as the entrants proceed through the college, their number tended to fall as some occasionally leave because of difficulty.
2. The college offered a four year course to the ordinary level and a six year course to the advanced level of a British Overseas examination.
3. The pattern of class organisation was 4 classes for the first year, 4 classes for the second year followed by an examination to weedout the entrants who made insufficient progress and admit good candidates from other secondary schools. There were only 2 classes for the third and forth years. At the advanced level there were only one class of each for fifth and sixth year.
4. The report reiterated that in its present form, the pattern maintained was not fair for approximately half the entrants of the college, after 2 years. It went to stress that on educational grounds the situation was unacceptable . The less abled students did not have a parity of opportunity and the way the students were taught determined the nature of examination at the end of the first 2 years in the college and not the the needs of the less abled students. This was evident in the second year when most of the students in the C and D classes(forms) were anticipating their imminent failure.
5. The number of students following Advance courses had increased from 9 to 26.
On the General Conclusion :
1. The impressions formed by the Inspectors were positive despite the variations in ethnicity, temperament and social status of
students. They observed a common sense of pride in the membership of the college shown by the students and staff.
They commented on the cheerfulness, industriousness, purposefulness and responsiveness of the students.
2. The report went into a detailed 6 page critique of the subjects taught at the college.