Reports of mass resignations by expatriates in Kuwait, especially teachers, doctors and engineers, sparked a debate over the reasons for their sudden decision to leave. I believe these jobs are important because of the shortage of workers in such fields negatively affects and delays work. For example, one daily said the education ministry recently received some resignations of expatriate teachers, especially of scientific subjects such as physics, chemistry and computers, and most of them did not give reasons for leaving.
Other reports spoke about resignations by engineers and doctors, but I did not find a specific number or percentage that could lead to panic or anxiety. Maybe these resignations are normal, and were previously not under focus. I believe that it is the right of any expatriate in Kuwait to submit their resignation if it is important and beneficial to their personal interests or for any other reason, even if they have got better offers and privileges in another country. This is their right and no one can argue about it; but the reasons to resign are important.
So, when a doctor or engineer chooses to leave the country, can the reason be their eagerness for a better salary, or is there something else that needs attention? I think the resignations of doctors need a review of their salaries and benefits given to them and their families, which may have led to their decision to leave.
I wonder if the conditions of expatriates in Kuwait are a warning of further resignations in other sectors. What sectors are likely to be abandoned by expatriates? Do expatriates resign as a result of increased charges including health fees, rent and school fees? Have some of the expatriates started to send back their families and live alone in Kuwait because they cannot afford to live here as a family?
These resignations have caused controversy. Some considered the issue of resignations as normal that should not cause concern, but there are those who see the matter, especially of teachers, as a danger to the educational process because a shortage of teachers can affect students and the educational process. Whether those teachers choose to work in other countries or return to their home countries, we will lose hands that we may not be able to replace immediately.
We in Kuwait should pay attention to the conditions of expatriates working in all sectors, with a focus on the jobs that we cannot replace easily. I think this issue should not pass as mere news. Kuwait will continue to need skilled and experienced workers.
By Muna Al-Fuzai