that the policy of education and curriculum at Aden College was what could be described as "brainwashing" or facilitating "Westernization ". But it was focused on scientific subjects in the curriculum. Subjects of Arabic and Islamic history and Islamic religion were taught by qualified teachers. They were proficient in their specialties, proud of their religion and their nationality (including teachers like Abdullah Uqba, Ali Awad Bamatraf, Hashim Abdullah, Lutfi Jafar Aman and others).
And if one asks, "Why were most courses taught in English? I say that, to enable students to sit secondary school examination in order to qualify for admission to British universities. Similarly, one might ask why Arab universities (except one only) teach medicine to this day in English (or French).
If the British intention in establishment Aden College was for westernization, then it has failed miserably in that its student graduate like Dr. Mohamed Ali Albar became a famous moderate preacher of Islam. Some others participated in the independence movements and became members of the National Liberation Front, or Front for the Liberation of South Yemen.
Then, there are those who take the view that the College was formed simply to serve and reward the elite of society by educating children of the most influential families in Aden, as well as the sons of sultans and sheikhs of the Protectorates. In other words, and in the final summation according to this theory - an elitist institution that will advocate divisions, polarize the community and increase the gap between the rich rulers on the one hand and the poor (labourers) on the other.
Accordingly, one might ask, "Did the sons of influential families already represent the highest rates in the college admissions or was this group relatively over-represented or not?" I have no figures to prove it or the statistics to substantiate such theory on the one hand or to refute it on the other.
And even if I found the figures which represent such relativity, as if to say for example that there were students from particular families were enrolled in the College - I say after careful study that I, at this point conclude that the reason for that - in most likely cases – was due to the fact that these families encouraged their children to study and achieve. Therefore, those students were legitimately and deservedly accepted in the College and successfully passed their entrance exam by competing with other students. In view of this,
if one considered the data of this segment of college students it may prove that they properly performed well in tests of high school and high British levels. They competed well and were able to be accepted readily in British universities.
The acceptance of students to the College was preceded by exams for all graduates from the intermediate schools in the Colony. The first ninety students were accepted each new academic year. There were many students from Aden and the Protectorates who were admitted and they were from working and middle classes of society.
But, with all these facts no one can deny or rule out - human nature being what it is across time and space - the possibility that students were admitted because of the
status of their parents in society (favouritism).
I did not find anything to suggest that these practices prevailed as a policy for admission to the College.
Another point of view excludes the existence of any theory of conspiracy or colonial ambitions behind the creation and establishment of Aden College. The advocates of this view simply see the reason behind the new approach taken by the Government in Westminster during the late forties and early fifties of the last century called for the development of education in the colonies and evidence of that is a similar pattern which was followed by Britain in other colonies.
For example, in Africa, plans for the development and increase in the number of institutions for higher education were carried out by the British colonizer. University colleges were established in Accra (Ghana) in 1948, Makrere University (Uganda) in 1949, and the University of Khartoum in 1951, and founded the College of Technology (later renamed the University of Science and Technology) in Kumasi (Ghana) in 1951, and founded the Royal College of Art for East Africa (which later became university college), Nairobi (Kenya) in 1954. And. starting in 1950, there were educational development in Ghana and Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika.
Aden College graduate Dr. Adel Aulaqi argues that regardless of the motives of the establishment of the Aden College, the final product, its graduates were enabled to communicate with the external world in a language and aspects of modernity.
a. In part I of the article I reported that the total cost for the establishment of the College amounted to 150,000 Sterling pounds, but I found in the telegraphic message from the Minister of Colonies to the British governor of Aden - in 1955 - approving the cost increase in the budget to £ 230,000.
b. It is interesting that in his opening speech, Sir Christopher Cox expressed the following observations (and remember that he gave that speech on 13.01.1953)
c. He had referred to the need for women and girls education in Aden and the growing importance of women's education in a society.
d. The formal curriculum was not enough and always remained of great significance for the interaction of the student in his community and its surroundings to refine and build character and leadership.
e That it was the duty and responsibility of the students of the College and the successive graduates to work hard, with enthusiasm and sincerity in order to raise high the college reputation and make Aden proud of their achievements. That might motivate students from across the Muslim world to come to Aden and study in the College and to take advantage of what it might offer them.
f. He expressed the hope that the College will build a good and valuable reputation which will prompt students from different races and traditions to work together - in their formative years – for the very one goal - in the framework of mutual respect, understanding and a spirit of tolerance (and if this happened) it will be a payback and a direct contribution to improve the situation of humans in the world today. (i.e.1953).
In the Part III, I will try to discuss the teaching strategies that were adopted at Aden College.