Overcrowded’ public schools can’t absorb bedoon students: Minister
KUWAIT: Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr Hamed Al-Azmi rejected a parliamentary proposal to register all the children of bedoons (stateless people) in public schools. Justifying his decision, Azmi stressed that ministry regulations only allow the registration of bedoon children of Kuwaiti women, the children and grandchildren of bedoon martyrs, the grandchildren of citizens, the children and grandchildren of some military personnel, the children of expatriate teachers and administrative staff members in public schools, public school social and psychological workers, lab technicians and librarians. “Bedoons not included have access to private schools at the expense of the charity fund,” Azmi noted. Further, Azmi explained that public school classes were already overcrowded, while the education ministry’s policy was to reduce the number of students per class in order to provide the best learning environment.
The supreme Hajj committee is set to meet today with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Fareed Emadi to discuss this year’s Hajj preparations, Head of Kuwait’s Hajj Convoys Union Ahmsd Al-Dowaihi said. He added that pilgrims would be distributed to five convoys including 180 pilgrims in each convoy, in addition to 100 others who would be distributed with their next of kin in various convoys. He added that the maximum pilgrimage cot would be KD 1,300 per pilgrim for category C, adding that 1,000 bedoon pilgrims would be registered with priority given to the elderly and families. He added that registration was still open in various convoys.
Expatriates nominated to work in Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) are interviewed without being subjected to exams because all of them are well-experienced, Oil Minister Bakheet Al-Rasheedi explained. He also denied that KPC or any of its subsidiaries had published ads about vacancies in India. Furthermore, he stressed that article number 51 of the private sector law (law 6/2010) applies for non-Kuwaiti oil sector employees.
KPC and its subsidiaries have an annual plan to recruit both experienced and new graduated citizens, Rasheedi further explained, adding that expats are only employed in positions where qualified Kuwaiti specialists are rare, whereas special training programs for national staff members are currently being prepared. “Kuwaitis currently make up 85 percent of oil sector employees, and this percentage is projected to increase to 89 percent after a number of expat employees at Ahmadi hospital are laid off,” he underlined.
Domestic helpers form 27 percent of the total manpower in Kuwait with 625,829 out of the total of 2,672,428, Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) statistics have shown. Furthermore, the statistics showed that Indians came first among the domestic helpers’ community with 45.9 percent; 287,421 of whom (78.6 percent) are males. The statistics also showed that Filipinos came second with 22 percent, of whom 99 percent are women.
Bangladeshis came third with 12.9 percent of the total domestic helpers’ population, of whom 98.8 are men. Sri Lankans came fourth with a total number of 60,930, of whom 7.7 percent are women. Nepalese only formed 2.6 percent of domestic helpers, and 90.3 of them are women. Meanwhile, Ethiopians came fifth with a total number of 167, 43, of whom 93.4 are women, while other African nationalities formed only 0.6 percent, whereas Indonesians formed 0.5 percent.
MP Khalil Al-Saleh criticized the parliament’s foreign affairs committee for rejecting a proposal he had submitted to impose some restrictions and regulations on the grants and loans given by Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. “My proposal conditioned the parliament’s approval to any grant or loan,” he stressed. Kuwait usually offers loans to brotherly, friendly or developing countries with the aim of promoting its relations and cooperation with them and to improve Kuwait’s image worldwide.
By A Saleh