By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Education Minister Ali Al-Mudhaf yesterday issued a ministerial resolution stipulating continuation of studies online for all educational levels for the 2020-2021 academic year’s second semester. The ministry said in a press statement that the decision will be revised according to health conditions in the country, adding the ministry coordinates with the health ministry via a joint committee.

The decision is applicable on public schools, religious educational institutes, teaching centers for the elderly and private schools. Kuwait is adhering to internationally-accredited precautions against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), holding classes online and barring gatherings. MP Osama Al-Munawer submitted a proposal yesterday calling on the education ministry to reduce fees at private schools, universities and institutions after the adoption of distance learning.

In a related development, the National Assembly’s health and labor committee yesterday called on the government to withdraw its latest decisions to close shops to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but the health ministry insisted that the closures will continue.

Rapporteur of the panel MP Saadoun Hammad said the committee discussed with health ministry representatives the latest developments and called on them to cancel the closures and focus on controlling arrivals from the airport and other borders. He said the ministry insisted it will continue with the closures and “we stressed that if the closures continue, the government should compensate businesses” affected by the measures.

He said that if the government does not end the closures, MPs will submit a draft law for compensation. Hammad said that MPs told the health ministry to test all people arriving through the airport and no one should be allowed to leave before learning the result. The government last week decided to close all shops from 8 pm to 5 am and completely shut health clubs, salons and barbershops. Kuwait also banned the entry of all foreigners for two weeks starting Feb 7.