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KUWAIT CITY, April 4: Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education Osama Al-Sultan announced that the absences of students on March 26 and 27 will not be recorded in line with the directive of Minister of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr Hamad Al-Adwani due to the heavy rains the country experienced recently,reports Al-Rai daily. Al-Sultan issued a circular to the educational districts, the Private Education- Sector, religious education and special education schools; instructing school administrations at all educational levels to implement the directive.
Meanwhile, Al-Jarida daily has reported that the Ministry of Education stressed the need for school administrations to ensure the implementation of the rules on students’ absences and take the necessary measures against those who are absent without valid reason.
Sources from the educational sector pointed out that every day of absence is wastage of public money as it has a cost, unlike vacations and official holidays. Sources explained the average cost that the State incurs for every student exceed KD3,000 annually. Sources indicated that the number of actual working days for the academic year ranges from 135 to 160 days, so the cost for the student for each actual school day is about KD18.
This means the massive absence on the first day of Ramadan, which reached 95 percent in some schools cost the State more than KD6 million as more than 300,000 students were absent that day. Sources pointed out that the frequent absences of students could lead to a decline in their educational attainment, in addition to wasting the efforts of teachers and public funds. Sources added the number of days when massive absences among students is observed is about 10 to 15 days annually,so a simple calculation for these days result in more than KD60 million per year.
Sources added the academic year in Kuwait is the shortest compared to other countries, while the massive absences phenomenon shortens the academic year further; thereby, negatively affecting the academic performance and outputs. Sources affirmed the ministry is working hard to find solutions, such as emphasizing the need to implement the regulations, holding students accountable, and making their parents sign a pledge on the attendance of their children, and intensified awareness campaigns on the negative repercussions of absences on the educational process and the future of the student through seminars and events in schools.