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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 17: Kuwait TV’s Kuwait Children Channel, which was established without planning and studies, and thus led to wastage of public funds due to its failure and low viewer rates – something that has been indicated more than once in previous reports, is on the verge of being cancelled, reports Al-Qabas daily.
According to media sources, the Ministry of Information is currently preparing a study on canceling the channel, which was launched a year ago but was later proven to be of no use.
The sources quoted the report published by the daily several months ago about the wastage of public funds on a channel that does not benefit the children, stressing that the study for canceling the channel puts great questions about the feasibility of launching it at a time when digital channels are widespread like Disney Plus and others.
The sources indicated that the channel was presenting programs deemed inappropriate for the age of its followers among the Kuwaiti children both in terms of content and the type of work and ideas based on it, adding that it had also presented an inappropriate scene in a cartoon series, which caused an uproar at the time, after Al-Qabas daily exposed the case in its issue of March 5, 2019.
Determine the expenses
Meanwhile, sources from the Ministry of Information revealed that the prospective study, based on which the decision to cancel the channel will be taken, will include determining the expenditures and advertising revenues as well as figuring out the financial implications related to its continuation or cancelation.
They indicated that the channel is not included in the organizational structure of the ministry, and therefore, the study will serve as a road map for taking the necessary measures and legal steps.
The sources affirmed that no decisions have been issued regarding the cancellation of the Kuwait Children’s Channel, but there are directives issued to stop any financial waste in order to rationalize expenditures and unjustified spending.
They stressed that the study on canceling the channel has not been completed so far, indicating that the ministry is serious about draining reservoirs and financial waste in the various sectors of the ministry, especially after the issuance of decisions to stop the use of employees from abroad starting from next year.
In parallel with the state’s general orientation to stop wastage, the sources stated that top directives were issued to all sectors of the ministry to prepare integrated reports, and identify the sources of financial waste in some television and radio programs and channels, in preparation for taking the appropriate decision regarding them, adding that it was found that the children’s channel is outside the circle of feasibility and did not achieve the desired goals .
They highlighted that digital TV channels like Disney Plus raise question marks about the launch of a satellite channel for young people at this time.
The sources revealed that international educational experts warn against children excessively watching channels specialized in cartoon series, as some of them encourage violence and increase mental and physical disturbances.
Annual costs of KD 625,000
Based on a parliamentary question submitted by MP Rakan Al-Nisf to the resigned minister of Information Muhammad Al-Jabri, the annual financial cost of the Kuwait Children’s Channel is estimated at KD 625,000. From this, KD 100,000 is spent for producing children’s programs, KD 75,000 as bonuses for its employees, and KD 450,000 to buy and rent special programs for children.
Summarized observations raised about the children’s channel –
1- The channel did not achieve its desired goals
2- Most of its programs do not address the targeted age groups
3- Wastage of public money in businesses and programs of little use
4- Huge sums of money spent from Ministry of Information’s budget for unexplored programs
5- Lack of plan to develop the channel’s programs or broadcast it
6- The channel did not succeed in attracting children to watch it, and therefore it has to be closed early
7- Al-Atfal TV has been raising questions from the parliament to the Minister of Information since its broadcasting
8- Kuwaiti families have repeatedly complained that the programs are not appropriate for children
9- Despite the opening of an investigation into the broadcast of a different scene in one of the cartoon works, the channel continued to broadcast it.