80 pc school janitors found working without work visa – Cleaning worker dies aborting foetus

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 30: Educational sector has been rocked by a serious scandal after the sudden death of a cleaning worker — as revealed by female cleaning workers in some public schools.

Although the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohammad Al-Fares last week tried to end a protest initiated by cleaning workers in some schools, the corpse of a female who lost her life in the course of aborting an illegitimate pregnancy is a wake-up call, especially after the police has detected she was working in a school at one educational area without residence visa.

A security source said the corpse was found close to a clinic and police investigation revealed that she did not have any identity card.

Further investigation indicated she was working in a public school, which prompted detectives to request the school principal for data of the workers.

They discovered that 80 percent of the workers did not have residence visa but the principal cleared herself from the responsibility, saying the company that supplied the cleaning workers had signed the contract with Ministry of Education rather than the school.

The cleaners were referred to investigation. Official statements made at the police station revealed details of the cleaning worker who died in her vain attempt to abort a pregnancy.

It also revealed the deceased declined to visit the clinic for treatment to avoid arrest since she did not have residence visa. The incident has made the majority of cleaning workers to desert the school in question for fear that they’ll be arrested, although the police did not go after them since the school was not responsible for the contract. Consequently, the school administration and students have been facing difficulty since the incident was reported last Tuesday.

Officials of the ministry have since expressed concern that moral decadence of this nature has negative implication on the school and students. Investigation revealed the act of employing absconders as cleaning workers is not limited to the school under consideration, because most of the public schools use cleaners who are without identity cards and have run away from their sponsors.

By Rana Salem Al-Seyassah / Arab Times Staff

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