Expat teachers are a basic pillar of Kuwait’s educational system. They have taken up the responsibility of educational development in Kuwait for long decades. Nobody can deny their role except an ungrateful person. Nobody can deny their rights except people with no vision. Recognizing and appreciating the role played by them is an integral part of the Kuwaiti society’s values, because Kuwaitis will never forget someone who lent a hand in times of distress.
Nevertheless, on the eve of celebrating World Teachers Day, Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh and the Civil Service Commission crushed teachers’ aspirations and spirits with the excuse of the economic problems Kuwait is going through. A decision was made mercilessly and without due studies of possible social, economic and psychological impact on both expat and Kuwaiti teachers. Has the finance minister ever considered the devastating consequences of such a decision?
Psychologically speaking, how do we expect an expat teacher to be creative while deeply in thought of how he/she would make it through till the end of the month without borrowing? Socially speaking, how can you, oh, finance minister, make such a hasty decision that would disperse expat teachers’ families, because most of them would have to send their families back home. Economically speaking, what will be the fate of hundreds of buildings that will remain vacant after being deserted by expat teachers’ families, and what about many other services they use in Kuwait?
Accordingly, I would like the minister to clearly answer the following questions:
1. Will the deduction you made from expat teachers’ salaries solve the budget deficit?
2. Did you actually study the possible social and psychological impact of your decision on those teachers?
3. Have considered the humane factor in your hasty decision?
4. Why only teachers among all expats receiving rent allowances in other ministries? Is it because they are taking care of our kids and you are not concerned with the educational process? Or is it because they will not find someone to defend them, neither in the Cabinet nor in parliament, where no lawmaker is expected to say a single word about them? In addition, the Kuwait Teachers Society acts as if it is only responsible for and concerned with Kuwaiti, GCC and bedoon teachers alone, while those of other nationalities are always considered the weakest who will not dare respond.
5. Is this a retaliatory decision because a female teacher dared to sue the ministry demanding her right over rent allowance and thus you decided to penalize other teachers to scare other expats in various ministries? It seems that you are after destroying education in Kuwait!
Another note to the Minister of Education Dr Bader Al-Essa: You have urged expat teachers to be considerate of the current circumstances in Kuwait. Why have you and all MoE officials not done so yourselves by rationalizing and conserving expenses? Have you ever thought about their circumstances? Have you thought how could a family live on KD 500 in Kuwait? Instead of defending and consoling them, you only made your sufferings worse. Have you no care for prayers of the oppressed?
You and all senior officials have to work on solving the problem of vacancies in your ministry because various educational areas and schools are understaffed despite your repeated promises to solve this problem. Many supervisors are doing extra tasks already. Why wait? Do you think that deducting from expats’ salaries is your only achievement?
Oh dear ministers of education, finance and CSC, remember that we are in a humanity center led by the humanitarian leader, where humanity cannot be humiliated! – Translated by Kuwait Times from Annahar
By Faihan Al-Azmi