Kuwaiti lawmaker calls for mass sacking of expatriate teachers

Published:  19 May at 6 PM
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In yet another attack on Kuwait’s expatriate community, a local lawmaker is calling for all foreign teachers to be sacked and replaced with Kuwaiti nationals.

MP Osama al Shaheen believes there is now an urgent need to address the emirate’s demographic imbalance, suggesting that removing all foreign teachers would contribute strongly to the Kuwatization programme. He also suggested that reducing the numbers of non-Kuwaiti students enrolled in public schools could free up a great deal of money which could be used for other purposes.

Al Shaheen’s claims are based on official figures released last month which show some 3 million foreigners living in the emirate, representing 69 per cent of the entire population. Kuwait has 71 thousand teachers, of which just over 46,000 are Kuwaiti nationals, leaving a further 25 thousand foreign and Arab teachers. His calculations, made at a press conference last Tuesday, proved, he said, that there are 25,000 jobs available for Kuwaiti men and women. However, he didn’t explain whether the, presumably, at present unemployed 25,000 had the necessary teaching qualifications.

As regards foreign students attending public schools in Kuwait, Al Shaheen quoted the average cost of keeping one student in school for a year as being some 5,000 dinars. Applied to the present number of foreign students at 51,378, total savings by excluding them would be just under 254 million dinars. Touching on the law that foreign students cannot enrol unless they fall in one of 16 somewhat complicated, categories, he suggested the categories should be removed along with the vast bulk of the foreign students.

Obviously a strong supporter of total Kuwaitization by any means possible, Al Shaheen ended his press conference by re-stating the gravity of the country’s demographic imbalance. He went on to urge all Kuwaitis as well as the government to address the problems, as Kuwait’s massive foreign presence is causing negative economic, security and social repercussions.
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