By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: Recently, the Ministry of Finance said it is still hesitating over implanting the financial raises mentioned in the proposed laws regarding students’ social allowances, given that it will impose an additional financial cost on the state budget in light of the current liquidity crunch. The National Union of Kuwait Students denounced the ministry of finance’s action to reject the proposed increase in social allowance for students, especially in light of the continuous increase in the cost of living, which all Kuwaiti families suffer from without exception.
Speaking to Kuwait Times, Aya Ashkanani, 20, said the KD 200 allowance the government gives is not enough. “The allowance does not cover my needs, from buying books for my classes, stationery such as notebooks and pens, and transportation to the university. Even the car needs maintenance and fuel, other than my personal obligations. I spend most of my day at the university, so I need to eat and drink. The subsidy is not enough for my minimum educational needs, even for basic books,” she said.
Mariam Al-Dakhil, 22, said that the government must increase the allowance to KD 300-400. “This allowance goes for books that have a minimum price of KD 16, in addition to KD 60 for fuel every month. I have classes from morning to evening, meaning that I need breakfast and lunch. I receive an allowance for books, which is KD 100, but at the end of the course, not before. I have to pay car installments, phone bill and I need the Internet for my research and studies. We deserve this increase because student life is expensive,” Dakhil said.
Muhammad Al-Marzouqi, 20, also said the allowance does not cover all his needs. “Students have financial obligations, from petrol expenses, phone bills that may reach KD 20, and books for each course,” he said. For Abdulaziz Al-Saleh, 21, the KD 200 only lasts for two weeks. “The subsidy is not enough, as it only lasts for half a month. I depend on the family’s expenses for the rest of the month, although we as students want to depend on ourselves.”
Asayel Al-Rashidi, 21, affirmed to Kuwait Times that the allowance should not be less than KD 300, explaining that female students have extra expenses, since they need an allowance not only for basic needs, but also for clothing, food and drinks, in addition to other university requirements. “I spend on fuel, Internet and study obligations. For example, I pay more than KD 30 for books per course and KD 18 for my phone bill. With the increase in prices in the country at the present time, it is hard for students to survive only on KD 200,” Essa Al-Mutoteh said.
Bader Bou Hadi, 25, and Mohsen Al-Mutairi, 19, agreed that the location of the universities plays a big role in expenses, revealing that most students live far away from the university and they consume a lot of fuel, calling on the concerned authority to review its positions regarding the demands of improving the lives of citizens in general and supporting the educational process of students.