KUWAIT CITY, Jan 8: Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohammed Al-Faris has informed the parliamentary Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee about his ministry’s plan to review the current fees in private schools.
The minister made the statement in his meeting with the committee on Sunday, during which he also explained that the Universities Law does not cover the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET).
He said public universities will be established through the law, not a decree; while the mechanism for competency approach should be reevaluated soon. He clarified this law will regulate the administrative, financial, structural and scientific affairs in public universities. He asked the committee members to present their comments on the bill, affirming the government is keen on establishing universities immediately to serve public interests.
He had earlier instructed the concerned Kuwait University officials to prepare an integrated memo on the timetables for establishing a university, relocation of Kuwait University and appointment of teaching staff. He reiterated the law is applicable to public universities like Kuwait University, Sabah Al-Salem University in Al-Shadadiya and Jaber Al-Ahmed University but not PAAET as a special law covers the latter. On increasing fees in private schools, Al-Faris pointed out that the former minister issued a decision that the increase should be three percent per year. He added the ministry is contemplating on the possibility of reviewing current fees to ensure justice for all.
Meanwhile, Committee Rapporteur MP Omar Al-Tabtabaei disclosed that the bone of contention was Article 44 of the law on the establishment of a new university as Kuwait University rejected this idea while PAAET supports it. He called on the government to reconsider this law in order to guarantee advancement in the educational sector. He hopes the controversy is resolved before the next committee meeting to finalize a decision in this regard. Furthermore, State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abdullah on Sunday met the Finance and Economic Affairs Committee members at the National Assembly. He briefed them on the government’s role in implementing the law on establishing the Silk City authority.
He said the committee members expressed concern over the powers and exemptions given to the authority. He asserted the government tried its best to be more transparent with the committee members by explaining to them the reasons behind the issuance of the law which has economic, social and political implications.
He added they also agreed to form a technical team consisting of members from the committee and the government to look into questions raised during the meeting and other related issues. He confirmed the government will continue its meetings with the committee regarding the Silk City Law for months.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff