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Thursday , October 21 2021

‘No accountability in years’

There is no sane person who doubts that public education has been suffering for a long time and the situation has worsened further with the success of most of its supervisors in dragging private education into the same quagmire with minor differences on the way to disappearing if the strong and politicized religious government intervention in its curricula continues.

Although the Ministry of Awqaf is considered a government within a government because of its financial, media and other arms, and despite all the stories of ruin and corruption in which many of its officials have been implicated over several decades, the wise government has preferred to overlook the mistakes and sins of those who manage the affairs while some have been referred to the Prosecution.

The last of these violations, which have not been investigated so far, was the demand for the payment of bonuses to the front-liners in the Quran sector – for employees who worked during the last ten days of last Ramadan on the pretext that they taught the Quran to more than 23,000, and this in itself is a miracle, if true, but it was not required at the time of the pandemic, and the Qiyam prayer was only an audio recording.

The demand for rewards may not mean much, compared to the tens of millions that were spent on semi-fake projects, such as the Qur’an Printing Authority which did not succeed over ten years in printing one correct copy, so the printed copies contained fatal errors and were withdrawn and copies of the Quran were imported from abroad.

Were it not for the reports of the Audit Bureau, no one would have heard of the ministry’s corruption, yet neither the ministry nor its affiliated bodies have ever been subjected to parliamentary accountability for sixty years, perhaps because of the fear of the dominance and authority of the followers of most of the religious parties that control it, and the government’s apparent reluctance to disturb those who control it.

In this regard, we recommend returning to the article of our colleague Badr al-Bahr (11-9-2021), in which he called on the Prime Minister to clean the ministry due to its failure, for more than half a century, land lying vacant without exploitation, which constituted a blatant failure to develop the endowment funds, however, not even the ministry’s porter was held accountable for this semi-deliberate neglect.

Colleague Badr’s article also included other serious matters that deserve attention from those concerned, apart from the administration of its affairs by some incompetent, holders of unrecognized “PhD” degrees.

I wondered, and still am, the reason for the insistence on assigning clerics, and those who are like them, to manage the affairs of the endowment especially in the real estate and investment aspects and they are the last to understand such specialized matters?

Also, I did not find a convincing explanation for the absence of qualified women in this ministry and the Endowment Authority.

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf

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