Kuwait University students challenge co-education ban in campus sit-in

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KUWAIT CITY, Sept 18 : Kuwait University (KU) students staged a sit-in yesterday morning in protest against the implementation of the law that bans co-education in colleges.

Representatives of the student unions and a number of Kuwait University lecturers also participated in the sit-in.

The protest, which was organized yesterday morning, witnessed the protesters in the hallway separating the Faculties of Education and Arts in the Sabah Al-Salem university City in Shadadiya. They were calling for restoration of the situation to what it was in all the sections that were canceled, and for not allowing external interference in the decisions of Kuwait University.

In this regard, a member of the teaching staff at the Faculty of Law at Kuwait University Dr. Ibrahim Al-Hamoud said, “We are in Shadadiya between the College of Arts and the College of Education with students present in all the corridors of the campus. Was there any ill done to the education, academic life, or indecorum?

There are no such issues at the university. Kuwait University, from its inception until today, has carried out shared education in the classrooms. Separation is automatic in nature, as the male students sit on one side and the female students on the other side. This is the upbringing of Kuwaiti society.

I invite everyone to go to any hospital or clinic in Kuwait, where you will find resting or waiting places for men and women separated but in the same place. This is the nature of things in Kuwait, and this is how Kuwaiti society has been raised since the inception of Kuwait. The State of Kuwait is an open and normal state.”

Dr. Al-Hamoud stressed that there is no doubt this issue of separating students was clearly explained by law No. 24/1996.

He said, “Likewise, the Constitutional Court eliminated doubt with certainty in explaining the concept of segregation in classrooms. Therefore, the presence of students in the same classrooms side by side is in no way considered among what is legally prohibited.”

Dr. Al-Hamoud went on to say, “The sudden decision created large gaps between the timings for students. Many female students began working continuously from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. This is a fact that is not necessitated by the quality of education with the students at the university during this long period, which is exhausting both physically and mentally.

The dismissal resulted in the deletion of many sections and rearranging them, which resulted in a kind of conflict in the students’ timetables, especially for the third and fourth year graduates. Their graduation will inevitably be delayed. This also resulted in the inflation of the sections, as the section that used to have 40 students now has 120 students. So where is the quality of education?”

Meanwhile, a member of the teaching staff at Kuwait University Dr. Sheikha Al-Jassem said, “What happened with the cancellation of academic classes is a very strange matter and does not come from a wise administration or a wise ministry.

A meeting of the parliament’s Ethics Committee with the Minister of Education, the university director, and only members of the Faculty of Law ended with cancellation of the registration of law students who were then told to re-register again.

Who is responsible for this error? Are they the students who registered their timetables from last June, or the employees of the Deanship of Admissions and Registration who worked 24 hours? What is their fault? The mistake, in my opinion, came from the university administration. The Ethics Committee does not have this power on the university.

The main point that everyone should pay attention to is that the Constitutional Court interpreted the concept of preventing co-education in the way that means within one hall and not separating them with buildings like what they want now. What the university director did is not respect the ruling of the Constitutional Court. If we do not respect judicial rulings, then the worst is yet to come.”

In addition, the coordinator of the Democratic Center’s student union Muhammad Al-Qattan said, “The recently issued decision to withdraw the joint courses certainly affected the students. More than 1,500 students were affected by this decision, and their timetables got messed up. Those whose timetables ended in the evening now end at night, and those whose timetables ended in the afternoon now end in the evening. All this has a negative impact on students.

The blame does not fall on the members of the National Assembly, despite my radical disagreement with them. The main blame falls on the deanship and the director of Kuwait University, because in short, he violated law No. 76/2019 regarding ensuring the independence of Kuwait University from any external interference. How can one submit to such matters and change the opinion of the people, causing the students to feel crushed?”

In addition, the coordinator of the Independent List Abdul Rahman Al-Habib said, “We, in the Independent List, are against co-education. It is unthinkable in the Faculty of Law that students are not able to register for courses, because the lecturer cannot handle such a large number of students, and with what happened with the decision. Despite all of this, there are a number of classes that follow the co-education system, and this confirms that our words are correct.”

He criticized the Students’ Union, saying the student representative did not declare or attend the sit-in, and that the students will respond to him in the boxes, and he has no presence in this matter.

Al-Habib added, “Today, the Independent List called for a peaceful and respectful sit-in befitting the students of Kuwait University to preserve their gains.”

By Abdul Rahman Al-Shammari
Al-Seyassah Staff

This news has been read 7595 times!

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