KUWAIT: Education Minister Hamed Al-Azmi admitted that the Ministry of Education (MoE) suffers from a shortage of teachers in some scientific subjects and English, namely male teachers in intermediate stage schools. Azmi attributed the shortage to students’ geographic distribution in new residential cities and opening of new schools at the beginning of the current school year. Azmi said the total number of MoE teachers is 72,292, including 70,133 in public schools, 1,478 in special education schools and 781 in religious education schools. He noted that residency visas of 17,054 private school teachers are sponsored by private companies.
Azmi also highlighted the need to consider teachers’ circumstances when distributing them to various schools or when opening job vacancies in collaboration with the Civil Service Commission (CSC), prioritizing citizens, followed by GCC nationals, bedoons, expats and finally dispatching committees abroad to recruit expat teachers.
In this regard, official educational sources said MoE suffers from teacher shortages in some subjects due to many reasons, including Kuwaitis’ reluctance in taking up a career in teaching in general, their inability to endure teaching burdens and administrative responsibilities and the endless types of leaves they tend to take including medical leaves, scholarships, escorting patients for treatment abroad and maternity; bad distribution of teachers, difficulty in attracting expat teachers from abroad due to the low salaries and financial incentives, the annual resignation of expat teachers due to the high cost of living in Kuwait and the random implementation of the policy of replacing expats with Kuwaitis. The sources also denied social media reports about the recent resignation of English teachers and stressed that most resignations take place at the end of the school year.
In another educational concern, informed sources announced that MoE had warned some private schools, urging them to pay overdue rent for ministry buildings they use to avoid legal actions. The sources justified the move by MoE in an attempt to avoid remarks made by the Audit Bureau about collecting overdue debts and squandering public funds, adding that the finance ministry asked MoE to form special inventory committees to conduct inventories during the next fiscal year (2019-2020).
The Ministry of Public Works and Public Authority for Roads and Transportation are preparing to offer two agreements to operate and maintain Jaber Causeway and to supervise operations for public bidding. The first agreement includes using developed electromechanical systems, others for firefighting and maintenance of concrete structures, buoys, land constructions and operational buildings. In other news, Minister of Social Affairs Saad Al-Kharraz said the ministry is currently working on finalizing the charity law as soon as possible, noting that the committee working on it had already finished discussing and amending some of its clauses. Separately, Minister of Commerce and Industry, State Minister for Services Khaled Al-Roudhan issued a resolution granting judicial powers to 22 ministry employees working in the competition protection bureau.
By A Saleh