KuwaitOther News

51% of children aged 10 unable to read: MP

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: MP Hamad Al-Matar strongly criticized on Wednesday the government’s educational policy, saying Kuwait spends on education as much as Finland, which occupies the top spot in education in the world, but said the end result in Kuwait is as good as in Uganda. He said that there is an educational gap of 4.8 years in Kuwait, meaning that people who are 18 have the educational skills of people who are 13 years old. The lawmaker said that 51 percent of children aged 10 and under cannot read simple texts.

MPs also called on the government to adopt a strict naturalization policy to protect the country’s national identity, adding that only those who deserve it should be given citizenship. Debating the government’s five-year program during a regular session on Wednesday, MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji said the government should counter those who undermine national identity and stop granting Kuwaiti citizenship except to those who deserve it.

MP Bader Al-Humaidi charged that at one stage, the country’s population swelled from just 200,000 people to one million through forgery in granting citizenship. Many lawmakers had in the past called on the government to launch a wide-scale investigation into claims that as many as 400,000 people had illegally obtained Kuwaiti citizenship.

Humaidi also called on the government to tackle the imbalance in the demographic structure in the country, where expatriates form some 70 percent of the population of 4.6 million. Turaiji stressed there is an urgent need to implement policies to employ Kuwaiti citizens in place of expatriates. Minister of Oil Mohammad Al-Fares pledged to the Assembly to accelerate plans to Kuwaitize all jobs in the oil sector.

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