‘Kuwaitis reluctant to work as social workers’

KUWAIT: Head of the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) employees syndicate Saleh Al-Azmi yesterday urged the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to undo its decision to terminate 214 expat psychological and social workers working in various public schools without providing qualified Kuwaiti substitutes. Azmi argued that CSC made a ‘hasty’ decision without studying its possible consequences on the educational process, especially in view of the lack of specialized and qualified Kuwaiti citizens in this field.

“Education cannot be run by individual decisions made by CSC in disregard to MoE’s actual needs,” he stressed, pointing out that citizens have been reluctant to work as psychological and social workers with MoE due to salary problems, as they are not paid as much as Kuwaiti teachers, and prefer working in other ministries. Finally, Azmi urged CSC to provide MoE’s needs of staff and not terminate any teacher or social worker without providing well-qualified substitutes.

Local recruitment
Meanwhile, MoE’s human resources manager Saud Al-Juwaiser said the ministry has opened local recruitment of non-Kuwaiti teachers to join its teaching staff for the 2018-2019 school year. He added that bedoon applicants will be exempted from the experience condition. Juwaiser explained that male teachers of English, French, mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, geology, art and craft were needed, while female teachers were only needed to teach physics, mathematics, art and music. He also noted that applicants’ age should not exceed 45, except for physical education teachers, who should be older than 32. He stressed that certificates must be endorsed and that visitors’ applications will be ignored.

Info Ministry
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information Tareq Al-Marzam denied reports that any of the ministry’s announcers have been suspended. He also noted that Kuwaiti announcers from outside the ministry were temporarily hired based on need. Marzam said the total number of non-Kuwaiti announcers is 87 and underlined that the ministry is fully committed to the government’s Kuwaitization plans. “The total number of Kuwaiti employees by the end of 2016 was 6,937 (86 percent) while non-Kuwaitis working on contracts were 311, and those working on temporary contracts only renewable by CSC approval number 884,” he explained, concluding that expat employees in the ministry are only 14 percent of the total.

Health insurance scheme
The State Audit Bureau rejected a tender made by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to qualify companies to register subscribers in the expats’ health insurance scheme because the ministry violated the procedural regulations included in directive number 4/1997 pertaining government biddings and opening bid offers. Addressing MoH, the bureau stressed that bids can only be opened in the presence of the full quorum of the purchases committee. It also noted that some of the applying companies had filed complaints regarding the process and stressed that all bidding companies are entitled to a copy of the committee’s report, which was not done with the complaining company.
Accordingly, informed sources urged Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah and his undersecretary Dr Mustafa Redha to form an investigation committee to hold whoever is responsible accountable. Notably, former MoH assistant undersecretary for public services Dr Mahmoud Abdul Hadi had filed related complaints with the public prosecutor against a former health minister and his assistant undersecretaries for financial and legal affairs.

Military laws
First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense urged lawmakers to review four military-related laws including the martial court and military penalties law number 119/1996, the martial penalties and military litigations and procedures law number 77/2000, a bill on banning the use, production and storage of chemical weapons and a bill on amending article 5 of law number 24/1963 pertaining the supreme defense council.

By A Saleh