Education or trade?

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Corruption or suspicions of corruption has now reached the corridors of educational edifices. When our rational governments were unable to accommodate our sons and daughters in their schools and universities, we were forced to resort to private universities and schools, which were granted licenses through appeasement.

Our governments are in deep slumber – deaf, dumb and blind.

I followed up the quest of a group of good people to establish a private university.  The Ministry of Education turned a deaf ear to their quest, yet licenses for the same purpose were given to the fundamentalist group that our governments feared … even the shadow of this group made our governments tremble in fear.

We do not blame the government for granting educational and university licenses to the private sector.  This is due to the ministries and planning authorities that have plagued us in recent decades.  They did not expect that such a huge number of Kuwaitis and expatriates on this land would need pre-university and university education.

Thank God, we, the elderly, did not encounter such confusion when we were studying. I still remember there was no College of Law at the nascent Kuwait University at the time.  Therefore, I decided, along with 13 Kuwaiti law students, to study the French language and law in French cities and universities. I personally chose the University of Nice — the charming part of the country and the center of the French Riviera.  I began studying law at the university after studying the French language in the cities of Caprice, Besançon, Dijon, Montpellier, Aix-en-Provence, and then the Nice Law School.

 I was satisfied with studying the French language in the schools and colleges in the abovementioned charming cities.  Then, Kuwait University opened the College of Law and it was in its second year, so I decided to complete the study of law at Kuwait University.

From France, I returned to Kuwait by car in December and the academic year at Kuwait University started in September.  I was accepted to complete my studies at the College of Law in Kuwait University, where I graduated with a very good grade — with distinction. The study materials including books and handouts were given to us for free.

This is our topic today. These days, I was surprised to find that private universities spend tens of thousands on their press, street, commercial and other advertisements, demanding for more than KD 100 for a book or a handout.  A student who paid thousands as tuition fees must also pay thousands for books.

Where is the Ministry of Education that has been sleeping in the midst of such a hideous exploitation? I believe that even if a miracle happens and the book and handout cost more than a hundred Kuwaiti dinars, the Ministry of Education would have to pay a large part of such cost and the rest by the parents of the students who do not have enough seats in our university that was built 20 years ago.  Consequently, they had to shoulder the cost of studying in the most expensive private universities in the world – the pampered private universities in Kuwait.  We do not even know whether these universities specialized in Science or in trade.

Email: [email protected]

By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli

Former Minister of Oil

This news has been read 164851 times!

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