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Thursday , August 13 2020

Renewal of teachers’ residences … a cycle of suffering and confusion

Poor planning cited as one of reasons

KUWAIT CITY, July 8: Suffering, exhaustion, hardship and waiting for hours just to get a signature or to complete just one transaction – this is a summary of the bitter reality the teachers are experiencing currently for the renewal of their expired residencies.

The reasons behind this include randomness, poor planning and lack of coordination among the relevant sectors of the Ministry of Education..

The procedure carried out during pre- COVID-19 days was easy and completed within a few minutes. However, now this process has become a source of hardship and fatigue for the teachers. In order to renew his residency, a teacher must first book an appointment to visit his school’s educational zone.

He must then wait for hours outside until he gets the so-called “Form No. 1, which is not important”. He then returns home and then book another appointment to visit the head office of the Ministry of Education in order to complete the transaction.

He then has to book another appointment with the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) in order to obtain his civil ID. According to relevant sources, there is a state of discontent over the fact that the visitors and employees in the educational zones are suffering from the mismanagement of the crisis in renewing the residencies of the teaching and administrative staff that had expired during the COVID- 19 crisis.

The current mechanism ends up wasting time and putting the workers at risk. The sources stressed that the absence of coordination between the Administrative Sector and Public Education Department has exhausted the educators, as the process of completing the residency renewal procedure requires two or more visits and waiting for hours in front of the educational areas within the Ministry of Education’s head office.

This causes crowding and increases the possibility of COVID-19 transmission among people due to repeated gatherings in more than one place.

Renewal
The sources said they consider the current process for the renewal of residency of teachers and administrators of the Ministry of Education, and the poor organization as a clear violation of the Cabinet’s recommendations in terms of physical distance and non-mixing, fixing the numbers of visitors, and completion of transactions electronically.

They highlighted the lack of benefit from the employee’s visit to the educational zone, as long as the Ministry of Interior granted the residency renewal authority to only the employees of the Administrative Affairs Department in the ministry’s head office. The sources explained that obtaining signatures of the concerned supervisor and the director of educational affairs on “Form No. 1” is in violation of the procedural sequence. In normal circumstances, only the signature of the immediate head of the employee or principal of the school where the teacher works is required if he needs to renew his residency.

This is mainly important because it is evidence of the ministry’s approval when renewing residency within the corridors of the Ministry of Interior. The sources asked, “What is the point behind getting the signatures from the supervisor and the director of educational affairs on Form No. 1 even though they do not represent the head teacher directly? Why were the teachers’ transactions not carried out directly at the ministry’s head office without referring to the educational zones or vice versa to reduce them? What are the obstacles to the online renewal of residency? Why are their physical presence required?

“Form No. 1 is not important at the present time and does not represent a barrier to the renewal procedures, as long as the transaction is carried out within the corridors of the Ministry of Education. So does the ministry really require the approval on this form in order to renew the residencies of its employees?” (Al-Qabas)

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