KuwaitPoliticsTop Stories

Education minister grilled over e-learning, ‘mismanagement’

KUWAIT: Education Minister Saud Al-Harbi is seen during his grilling at the National Assembly yesterday. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Three MPs yesterday grilled Education Minister Saud Al-Harbi over a variety of allegations including failing to introduce distance learning at schools and preferring to appoint expat teachers instead of Kuwaitis and stateless people (bedoons). The minister categorically denied the allegations, saying priority in appointments has always been for Kuwaitis, adding that many relatives of Kuwaitis and bedoons have been appointed.

MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei said the minister had 1,032 vacancies for appointments of Kuwaitis and children of Kuwaiti women married to foreign husbands, but the minister appointed expats, turning the education ministry into a ministry of expats. The lawmaker also accused the minister of mismanagement and accused him of “slaughtering” the education ministry by transferring the head of the systems department to a remote area after the completion of a key project related to distance learning. He claimed the minister randomly punished others too.

Subaei said that a number of private schools also forced students to buy school uniforms even though education is being conducted through distance learning. In another grilling, MP Khalil Abul said the minister failed in introducing distance learning and has ignored appeals to meet with specialists in the field. He said the minister also failed in implementing an adequate educational policy amidst the coronavirus pandemic, labeling what he has done as disappointing. He charged the minister of “wasting” a whole year of students as he remained hesitant between adopting distance learning and regular education.

MP Awdah Al-Awdah accused the minister of failing to give educational certificates to bedoons, thus delaying them the opportunity to secure jobs. The minister denied the allegations, saying the claims made by MPs did not even amount to accusations, regretting that the grillings were not for the sake of educational reforms.

He insisted that priority of appointment has remained for Kuwaitis, adding that the appointment of bedoons and children of Kuwaiti women are made only when there is need for them. The minister said the ministry has cracked down on forged degrees and in the past few months referred five people to the public prosecution. Meanwhile, the Assembly agreed to study a proposal to delay payment of loan installments for another six months.

Back to top button