KUWAIT CITY, March 19: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim has announced that a session will be held on Tuesday to discuss urgent bills related to the coronavirus crisis.
Al-Ghanim affirmed the decision to hold the session was taken after consulting most of the MPs and discussing the issue with the Assembly Office. He disclosed the bills include the proposal of some MPs to amend the law stipulating the grace period for filing court verdict appeals whenever a public holiday is declared due to catastrophes and exceptional conditions.
He affirmed this proposal has been referred to the Legislative Affairs Committee. He added the second bill submitted by the government on the amendment of Law No. 12/1969 about the procedures that should be taken during the spread of infectious diseases was referred to the Health Affairs Committee.
While indicating that the upcoming session will witness discussion and approval of the abovementioned bills; Al-Ghanim revealed the MPs and employees of the Assembly Secretariat General, who will attend the session, will be required to undergo a precautionary medical test on Sunday.
He explained this test is not only aimed at protecting the MPs but a commitment to anti-coronavirus measures. He pointed out that, if necessary, other sessions will be held to discuss and ratify the urgent bills. If not, the Assembly will continue evaluating and following up the situation by holding meetings.
Regarding the public budget, Al-Ghanim said he discussed the issue with the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee and communicated with the government in this regard. He confirmed an agreement has been reached that the agenda for the upcoming session excludes the proposed allocation of supplementary budget.
He clarified the government will increase the budget for items needed in the fight against coronavirus.
Meanwhile, MP Osama Al-Shaheen has submitted the plan drafted by a number of academic figures concerning education during the coronavirus crisis as follows:
- The Ministry of Health has the sole right to issue a decision on the return of students to schools and colleges. No other institution can take decisions in this regard without consulting the ministry.
- The academic year is terminated for primary stage and grades one to 11 students. These students are promoted to the next academic level.
- Grade 12 students will be given condensed and brief curriculum to be followed by the final exams once the coronavirus crisis ends.
- Students in private schools and universities will not pay school fees during the period of closure due to the crisis.
- The Ministry of Education will organize online lessons for grades one to 12 students, which will be broadcasted by one or two Kuwaiti TV channels on April 1, 2020. These lessons are optional and they will not affect the marks given to the students.
- For higher education institutions, students at Kuwait University and Public Authority for Applied Education and Training will be given condensed and brief courses to be followed by the final exams once the crisis ends as per the approval of the Ministry of Health.
- Special cash allowance will be granted Kuwaitis studying abroad in order to help them deal with the current situation.
- Speed up the evacuation of Kuwaitis studying abroad who are sick.
- Urge expatriate teachers to leave Kuwait with their families and grant them the summer holiday and leave pay.
- Seek the help of lecturers and students at faculties in medicine and nursing institutes to support the medical teams dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
- Take serious steps towards Kuwaitization of the educational sector by replacing expatriate teachers with Kuwaiti graduates with scientific specializations
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff