KuwaitOther News

Minister officially halts private school fees increase

Hamid Mohammad Al-Azmi, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education

KUWAIT: Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Hamid Al-Azmi officially issued a decision yesterday with regards to private school fees for the year 2018/2019. The decision included a halt on fee increase for all private schools (American, English, bilingual, French, private Arabic, model Arabic, Indian, Pakistani, Filipino and the private Iranian school), and approved the fees of 2017/2018 for 2018/2019.

It also included that private and model Arab schools, Indian, Pakistani and Philippine schools must comply with the salaries issued in decision 19724/2002 issued on 18-19/11/2014 for the year 2018/2019, and they represent the minimum salaries, provided that they do not affect any additional rights for workers in the school.
The private education department will approve fees for schools that are to be licensed or stages to be added to existing schools starting from 2018/2019 with the same mechanism, and these schools must comply with the rules and standards set by the education ministry. The decision said the following penalties will be applied to schools that violate the rules of this decision:

The school will be warned in writing to remove the violation within 30 days. If the violation is not removed, all school transactions will be put on hold at state departments for one month, and the licensee must remove the violation during this period. If the violation is not removed during these two periods, the school license will be revoked effective at the end of school year in which the violation occurred. The licensee must still return the additional fees collected in violation of article 1 of the decision, and settle the salaries of workers.

Small and medium enterprises
Minister of Commerce and Industry and State Minister for Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan said the Public Authority for Industry (PAI) handed the National Fund for SME Development 500,000 sq m of land for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), adding that the national fund financed 489 projects in 21 months from April 2016 to December 2017. Roudhan said 180 Kuwaiti industrial facilities have ventured out of the local market, adding that promoting the bourse to emerging market status will reflect positively on the volume of liquidity. Kuwait jumped six places in the field of improving business environment worldwide and seeks to be in the top third in less than five years, Roudhan noted.

Legal department
There are 214 Kuwaitis and 13 expatriates working in Kuwait Municipality’s legal affairs department, the Minister of Municipality Affairs Abdulwahab Al-Roumi said. Asked about the reason why no Kuwaiti lawyers have been appointed at the municipality since 2005, Roumi explained that appointments were halted in the legal affairs department’s cadre. He added that 1,867 cases were handled by the department in 2015/2016.
Separately, Director of Mubarak Al-Kabeer municipality branch Falah Al-Shimmari said six engineering offices and six contractors were referred to concerned authorities in the municipality to face legal action for violation of municipality laws. All construction licenses in the governorate will be reviewed on March 1, he said, adding that violations were found in several buildings under construction, while one building was removed. Twelve other buildings were found in violation for adding extra floors, and removal procedures will be taken next month, Shimmari said, adding that the punishment is not just financial, as the violator will remove part of his building at his own expense.

Funeral services
Kuwait Municipality provides all needs for the funeral department, Deputy Director General for Services Affairs Khalaf Al-Mutairi said, noting that the department does not need donations. “The department’s budget is sufficient, and all needs, including ambulances, administrative employees, gravediggers, and washers of dead bodies, in addition to shrouds, are available,” he explained. The state, represented by the municipality, presents its services free of charge, Mutairi said, and denied that fees are collected for washing or shrouding the dead. Mutairi’s statements come in response to reports claiming that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor requested Kuwait Municipality’s approval for an application made by a local NGO to raise funds for funeral services, which are offered by the state free of charge. The alleged project, called the ‘Hereafter Homes,’ includes covering financial costs for funerals in Kuwait, constructing a women’s washing building in Sulaibkhat, a washing area for men in Subhan cemetery and providing the basic needs for washing the dead.

Priority IDs
Director of the elderly care department at the Social Affairs Ministry Dr Amani Al-Tabtabaei said 4,000 ‘priority IDs’ were given to the elderly by the end of Jan 2018, out of 52,800 deserving persons. She said the elderly get priority in processing transactions at government ministries and departments. Tabtabaei said activating the “priority” IDs came as an implementation of item 10 of law 18/2016 regarding the social care of the elderly, which committed government bodies to take the necessary measures so that the elderly benefit from this new service.

By A Saleh

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