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MP urges private school oversight, hits fees hike Panel nod to consumer protection bills

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 28: The Ministry of Interior has approved a proposal to identify the names of those eligible for naturalization as per the list submitted by the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR), Interior and Defense Committee Rapporteur MP Sultan Al-Shimmeri said Tuesday.

Al-Shimmeri disclosed the committee had earlier requested for the list from the CSRSIR and scheduled a meeting with the head of the agency to discuss the issue. He added the committee also queried the minister of interior on the reason behind the failure to grant citizenship to those included in the list submitted the Public Authority for Citizenship.

He said the minister explained that the authority submitted 128 files containing 504 eligible names to the High Committee for Citizenship for review and it will soon submit its report to the Cabinet for final discussion. According to Al-Shimmeri, the Citizenship and Passport Affairs General Department in the Ministry of Interior intends to implement a new system to process pending and latest requests, which will be submitted to the committee in the near future for feedback.

Meanwhile, Rapporteur of the Budget and Final Accounts Committee MP Mohammed Al-Huwaila confirmed that they discussed the final budget of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and reports of the State Audit Bureau; which revealed numerous violations in contracts, tenders and other malpractices that caused enormous losses — estimated at millions of Kuwaiti dinars — to the country. In another development, the lawmaker stressed the importance of enacting a law on the management of private schools to correct malpractices in the private educational system.

He pointed out the ministry must intensify its efforts in supervising the schools to ensure the implementation of educational standards and safety regulations. He said some private schools have no clinics, while others have highrise buildings despite regulations that school buildings must be close to the ground. He also criticized the abrupt and unjustified increase in private school fees; indicating that although the ministry approved the five percent increase, there was no improvement in the quality of education and services in these schools.

He argued that under such circumstances, the hike in fees is unjustified. On the other hand, member of the Education Committee MP Awda Al- Ruwaye revealed they met the head and secretary general of Kuwait Teachers Association to discuss their proposals on the protection of teachers and improvement of the educational system. Affirming that the priorities have been laid down and tabled for discussion, Al- Ruwaye said these priorities include the registration and classroom issues at Kuwait University. He asserted these are important issues which have been left pending for quite some time, adding that violations in the registration process resulted in overcrowding of students in limited number of classrooms. He pointed out the situation has prompted the management to mix boys and girls in one classroom in an attempt to accommodate the large number of students. He added some professors refused to teach these classes due to the violation of the Gender Segregation Law.

Moreover, Al-Ruwaye said the committee will also review the MPs’ proposals and ministerial reports on the establishment of new Islamic institutions and public schools equipped with the latest technology, as well as the establishment of Kuwait University branches in Ahmadi and Jahra governorates. He added the panel will tackle issues related to government scholarships, those who pay for their studies, unaccredited certificates and Jaber University. He affirmed that after discussing these issues and referring them to the concerned authorities, the committee will deliberate on proposals and draft bills concerning the media.

Furthermore, Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee Rappoteur MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari disclosed the committee approved the public authority of experts and consumer protection bills on Tuesday. Both bills were referred to concerned committees and will, thereafter, be submitted to the Assembly.

In the meantime, deliberations on the proposal to merge the Public Authority of Investigation and Public Prosecution were postponed until the relevant authorities present their comments in this regard. Commenting on reports published in some local newspapers that there is no crime in the cancellation of the Dow deal, Al-Kandari said, “This is what we have been dreading all along.” He then appealed to the Assembly to approve his proposal to amend the Minister Prosecution Law in the next session. He believes the approval of the proposed amendment will pave the way to the prosecution of erring ministers, especially since no minister has been held responsible until now despite the scandal and financial crimes attributed to this case.

By: Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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