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MoE scraps first semester exams at public schools

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The education ministry announced yesterday that there will be no paper or online exams for the first semester of the current scholastic year (2020-2021) at public and private Arabic schools. Acting undersecretary Faisal Al-Maqseed said in a statement after a meeting with ministry officials that studies will continue online at all levels and in all schools.

Maqseed indicated there are several proposals regarding the method of assessing students’ levels. In July last year, the Cabinet ended the 2019-2020 academic year and announced all students were deemed to have passed. The current academic year began in October.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee yesterday approved draft laws calling to ban the appointment of expats in public jobs unless there are no Kuwaitis to fill the vacancies. Currently, around 100,000 expats are employed in public sector jobs in government ministries and state bodies, along with over 300,000 Kuwaitis.

Head of the committee MP Khaled Al-Enezi told reporters the committee cleared the bills and referred them to the concerned panel that should study and give the final approval before sending them to the house for passage. Enezi said the bills state that no foreigner will be appointed in public sector jobs unless no Kuwaiti citizen applies for the said job. The aim of the bills is to nationalize all jobs in the public sector.

The Assembly has passed a number of laws in the past, all calling to speed up the replacement of expats in public sector jobs. Enezi also said the committee cleared a draft law calling to establish a special agency for alternative energy, saying Kuwait is far behind in this field.

Also, leading opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri yesterday called for appointing a new prime minister capable of taking decisions and fighting corruption. It was reported last week that the Cabinet, formed just three weeks ago, submitted its resignation to HH the Amir after three opposition lawmakers filed to grill HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah.

The resignation has not been announced but the government boycotted Wednesday’s Assembly session and ministers have been boycotting Assembly panel meetings. Muwaizri said the new prime minister must be capable of carrying out much needed reforms and resolving crises that have hounded the country for decades, like the housing problem. He claimed only five percent of the Kuwaiti people are monopolizing the wealth of the country, “and this situation should not be allowed to continue”.

Muwaizri insisted that the government has so far failed to cooperate with MPs to issue a much-delayed general pardon to allow a group of Kuwaiti opposition former MPs and activists, who have been living in exile for over two years to escape prison terms, to return. The constitutional court meanwhile set Jan 20 to start hearing a number of challenges to the general election results.


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