Expat educators in Kuwait to be replaced by Kuwaiti nationals

Published:  16 Feb at 6 PM
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Beginning in the 2017/2018 education year, the Kuwaiti Education Ministry will replace 25 per cent of its expat workers with Kuwaiti nationals.

The purge will stop all recruitment of expat teachers whose specialities are covered by Kuwaitis. According to the Arab Times, the names of more than 450 teachers and 150 technical supervisors and department heads have been listed for contract termination. Subjects covered by the sackings are integrated science, sociology, computer science and Islamic studies and all stages of education will be affected.

Quoting a source, the Arab Times article said the full list is to be sent to Assistant Undersecretary for Public Education Fatmah al Kandari, who will approve it and forward it for action. The expat educators affected will be informed next month their services are no longer required after July 7. The list of those due to be forced out was collated during 2016, but was put on hold as many of those affected had contracts predating 2013 and had served the emirate for many years.

In addition, Kuwaiti lawmaker Safa al Hashem is said to have been pleased by the parliamentary health committee’s approval of the introduction of compulsory medical insurance for all expats. The Kuwaiti MP has been recently active in calling for various taxes to be imposed on expats in the emirate, and told Qutar Day reporters the move will ease pressure on local hospitals. According to the MP, foreigners who arrive with their families for medical treatment are causing longer waiting lists and shortages of equipment such as oxygen cylinders in emergency rooms. Many, she added, arrive for post-natal treatment, cancer, obesity treatments and other surgeries.

Al Hashem, the only female MP in the Kuwaiti government, also stated a recent plan to recruit 30 foreign consultants was a danger to the state. She believes it’s time for Kuwaiti citizens to train and qualify as specialist consultants in order to save money spent by the adminisration on covering visiting consultants’ expenses. Some 66 per cent of Kuwait’s population are expatriates, with the majority arriving from Asia and working as drivers, labourers and domestic workers.
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