‘Don’t cut budget for education’

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Panel discusses seats availability in universities

KUWAIT CITY, May 22: The parliamentary Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee on Sunday discussed the admission seats in local universities with representatives of the Private Universities Council. Committee Chairman MP Hamad Al-Matar disclosed this meeting is aimed at ensuring there are enough seats in local universities for 39,263 secondary school graduates this year; including 6,895 elderly education graduates; 1,116 home study graduates; 1,491 religious institute graduates and graduates of private schools.

Dr. Hamad Mohammad Al-Matar

Al-Matar said the private universities have requested for KD180 million budget; urging the government to approve this request to help the universities in serving almost 5,800 students. He advised the government to avoid reducing the budget for education; indicating the government can reduce the budget for armament and the Ministry of Defense but not the budget for education.

He also expressed dissatisfaction over the delayed establishment of the American Medical Sciences College, which was supposed to be inaugurated three years ago. He intends to submit a proposal to allot 50 percent of lecturer slots in private universities for nationals. He argued the KD180 million budget demanded by the private universities should come with the recruitment of Kuwaitis who hold higher studies degrees as one way of fulfilling the requirements for Kuwait University accreditation.

On the other hand, MP Osama Al-Menawer submitted a bill to amend the title of law number 25/1974 from Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development Law to Organization of Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development Law. A new clause will be added to Article Two of the law stating that 25 percent of the capital of the fund will be allocated for financing projects included in the development strategy of the State and the annual development plan of the government like infrastructure, electricity, water and health projects. It also mandates the Council of Ministers to present an annual report on projects financed by Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

Moreover, Al-Menawer forwarded queries to Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Nazaha (Integrity) Enhancement Jamal Al-Jalawi about the decision of the Central Agency for Public Tenders (CAPT) to extend for the third time the contract for providing consultancy services and supervising the implementation of meteorology and navigation projects at Kuwait International Airport (miet&atm-CNS) by V.B. Deerns Nederland at a cost of KD10 million. He requested for copies of the minutes of the meetings of CAPT regarding the awarding of the contract to the aforementioned engineering firm. He asked if Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) conducted investigations on the value of the contract – the highest in the region over the past 90 years. In another development, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim sent a cable to Speaker of the House of Representatives in Yemen Sultan Saeed Al-Berkani to greet him on the National Day of his country.By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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