KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Amid reports that graduates did not meet the required linguistic skill criteria, Kuwait’s Ministry of Education is looking into suspending the teaching of French language in Kuwait University and the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, says Al-Rai daily.
The daily quoting a ministry source added the program must be evaluated carefully and then restructured in an integrated manner in order to remedy the existing problems in the curriculum, particularly as the graduation of weak teachers will reflect negatively on the students and disrupt the educational process.
The ministry will maintain the suspension until the whole French acquisition system in Kuwait is duly assessed and overhauled, the source noted, adding some 14 female graduates in French Studies were hired by the ministry as teacher trainees this year and assigned to different schools. Manal Omar, supervisor general of French language said the teacher trainees were “very weak in all French language skills, including grammar, syntax, oral and written expression, vocabulary and conjugation”. In her report to the assistant undersecretary for public education lessons, she said the trainees also made frequent mistakes in their pronunciation and were unable to reach the level of holding a conversation in French, and they could not rely on themselves to present lessons.
Meanwhile, the trainees had problems discerning right from wrong while correcting students’ assignments, which forced teachers in the French departments to fix their mistakes to avoid confusion, report added. It also said some of the trainees had been forced to take up French in college after they refused to study English or Physical Education, and proposals mentioned in the report to improve the teaching of French language in Kuwait included the suspension of admissions in colleges until the curricula and the program are properly reviewed and restructured, conducting personal interviews in French and sitting for written tests. Report indicated those who want to specialize in French at the university must have studied at least 200 hours of French before their graduation from high school and attended dedicated courses to receive French-accredited diplomas from A1-C2.
French courses should be given in French language and not in Arabic or English language as is currently the case, so the institute aims to promote it, along with French culture to facilitate cultural exchanges in collaboration with Kuwaiti institutions working closely with French administrations to encourage enrolment in advance studies in France or French language. France in 2012 set up the French institute in Kuwait to “open a new chapter in the cultural relations between the two countries initiated more than 40 years ago”.