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The problems with Kuwait’s struggling educational system

Teaching is noble but exhausting work. The criteria of the current teaching methods are totally different than those in the near past. People in the past would consider teaching an honorable and respectful job. Teachers were also highly respected by their students. Most old teachers speak about their teaching experience joyfully; even they have taught for many long years.
In contrast, today we can rarely find happy teachers either in private or public schools. In this article, we are going to spot the light on the reasons that led to such a miserable teaching situation.

Students do not yearn to learn
Speaking from personal experience, I believe that most students do not take school seriously. They study because their parents send them to school but they are not convinced at all of its importance. I would say they are not psychologically prepared to be students. They do not have the desire to learn. I have directly asked many of my students whether they want really to go to school or not; not surprisingly a majority would stop coming to class if they could. I wouldn’t specify anyone to be blamed for this calamity but we have to admit that this problem exists.

Poor quality teachers
Second of all, the sad truth is that there are a lot of really poor teachers in schools these days. With respect to all hard-working teachers but there are many unqualified ones who are assigned to teach important subjects. They are often incompetent in the subject matters they teach.

When it comes to the public school system, the Ministry of Education bears the full responsibility for hiring such teachers. These teachers are supposed to meet the Ministry’s conditions and have to pass a job interview. Some critics say maybe some of these mentioned teachers are qualified enough to teach but they don’t do their best inside the classrooms.

The scourge of ‘tuitions’
Only then the third problem ‘private lessons’ comes to the scene. Unfortunately, secondary and university students depend on private lessons too much heavily to pass exams. Many teachers teach for money and do not make sure the students understand. On the other hand, the students just want to pass the finals and do not think about what could happen to them if they pass but still can’t speak or read English.

The big question is: how would these students join credible, accredited universities in the future? How would they benefit their community if they are not well educated? Of course, when such students pass and are later hired in local community organizations, ministries and private companies, we don’t expect them to bring high standards such as a great customer care service.

Lacking motivation
Above all, teachers are not motivated enough to enjoy their work. Students generally do not respect their teachers and might shout or hit them. I have heard many stories about things like that; a student is mocking his teacher in front of everyone in the classroom. Another student intentionally makes trouble inside the classroom because he knows the teacher can’t punish him or even shout at him due to the ministry laws. In addition, some teachers think they are not paid well.

I have taught many people who hold high positions in well known companies and leading businesses and sometimes work for the government, but they barely know how to speak English, do not have good hand writing in Arabic, and can’t even convince you in their points of view when they talk. I would say, if they are really very well educated, they wouldn’t behave like this and for sure they can be better. When the community has a strong educational system, all community aspects will be improved. The solutions to end this problem are easy but the question is: Who will take the lead and do it?

Kuwait is a country of rich resources including the human resources. If the Ministry of Education hires the suitable people, works on the students to be motivated, issues strict rules against the students who disrespect the teachers and updates its educational system, then everything would be fine again. The future is promising and we are optimistic to have brilliant teachers and students in Kuwait.

By Samer Yousef Abualrub

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