Education is still behind and we need to do something about it. I am a sports person and specifically a footballer (soccer player), and as you may know, sports include injuries, some soft and some require some serious treatment. I was in training when I tore my hamstring. I was still able to walk so I went to the locker room and sat down as I take the pain. I could not get up again.
I shouted to call my co-captain and no one can hear me, so I drag myself out, pause the training and ask Jorge to go to hospital with me. The pain is now unbearable and the doctor calls us in the emergency department, he tells me that it is a big rupture and that I need an injection to stop the inflammation of the muscle. The he writes the report and includes “reposo total 1 semana” which technically translates to ‘no movement 1 week’.
This incident happened on a Tuesday, but I have classes in the next 3 days and our university only allows the absence of 30% of each class throughout the semester. So, I send an e-mail to a university staff member and explain my situation. The answer was very nice on the individual level, but unfortunately, I was told that 30% of allowed absence includes medical emergencies, so that I have to contact each teacher and see if I have to go to their classes, when I was specifically told not to walk, or to even get out of bed.
Three days later, here I am sitting in class with fury writing this story because had I not attended class today, I would automatically fail Intellectual Property. Now, this is a loophole in the system, I am huge supporter of the absence system because many students that come straight from highschool to the open university life might miss a lot of classes and end up failing. But, this should not be the reason for Professors to work individually. A person in pain should not be concerned about e-mailing teachers and waiting for their replies to see if you need to go to class in such a situation.
My suggestion is that it should be part of the advisor’s job to send out e-mails to other lecturers that a certain student has been specifically instructed to not move and that is it. As long as there is proof, such as the doctor’s report.
Again, the absence system is important, but health comes before everything and a student should be trusted when they are feeling that bad to not worry about failing.
I believe that living alone abroad, the 30% should be for all the paperwork that needs to be finished in the morning and for the days of depression or minor sickness, and there should be at least a hidden 10% for a case like mine.
I want to end this story by saying, that I spent the class time thinking about how painful this is and how I want to write a story about it. I am sure, it was a better choice for both the Professor and I had I stayed at home.
Almustafa Mahmoud Khalid #TeamSkies