Kuwait education minister questioned on allegations of e-learning failure: Reports

An empty classroom is seen in a private school in Hawally, after the Ministry of Education suspended schools and universities, in Kuwait city, Kuwait, March 2, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

Kuwait’s Education Minister Saud al-Harbi was questioned by three members of parliament (MP) on Tuesday over perceived failures to introduce distance e-learning in schools and the appointment of expat teachers rather than Kuwaitis, Kuwait-based newspaper the Kuwait Times reported.

The news comes a day after the Kuwait Teachers Society (KTS) accused al-Harbi of failing to deal with the COVID-19 crisis with no clear planning strategy for the upcoming academic year, adding that he has lost the trust of teachers’ because of his handling of the crisis.

Kuwait MP al-Humaidi al-Subaei accused the minister of giving 1,032 vacancies to expats, rather than to Kuwaitis, and said that al-Harbi had been “slaughtering” the education ministry through punishing various members of the body including appointing the head of systems to a remote area after completing a project related to distance learning, the Times reported.

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Meanwhile, MP Awdah al-Awdah said the minister had failed to give education certificates to any Bidoon (stateless people), and delayed their ability to get a job. Bidoon are an Arab minority social class in Kuwait that the government does not recognize as Kuwaiti citizens.

Al-Harbi strenuously denied all of the allegations made against him, and added that Kuwaitis have always had priority for appointments, noting that the MPs claims did not even amount to accusations, the Times said.

Schools closed in Kuwait in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus and still have yet to reopen.

Authorities are also proceeding with legislation to cut the number of expats in the country.

In July, a panel vowed to find a plan to cut expats after criticism was leveled at the government for failing to come up with its own solution to reduce expat numbers.

Expats currently form around 70 percent of Kuwait’s population.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 02 September 2020 KSA 12:44 - GMT 09:44
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