Govt urged not to return Early Retirement Bill to Parliament
KUWAIT CITY, May 23: The parliamentary Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee has expressed support for the measures taken by the Ministry of Education to combat cheating in schools.
After the committee’s meeting in the presence of Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Hamed Al-Azmi, Committee Rapporteur MP Khalil Abdullah Aboul disclosed, “We discussed several issues – the most important of which is cheating in schools and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The committee agreed to wait for the Ministry of Higher Education to release statistics related to IELTS in order to determine the impact of this test on students and the educational process in general.”
He added, “We still believe the IELTS is a patchwork solution to the problems of many students who graduate from public schools. A student with an average of 80 or 90 percent does not know any English, so how can he be granted a scholarship?” On cheating, he confirmed that the committee lauded the ministry for taking measures to stop cheating in exams in order to protect diligent students and the entire community.
He went on to say that in the presence of the Kuwait University president, the committee discussed complaints regarding promotions and scholarships. “We requested for a meeting with the minister, university president and Teachers Association to address the complaints,” he concluded. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee MP Adnan Sayed AbdulSamad said they discussed Wednesday the draft budget of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) for fiscal 2018/2019, its final account for fiscal 2016/2017 and comments of the State Audit Bureau (SAB).
He revealed the estimated revenues in the budget of the authority decreased to KD 2 million, although the revenue in the final account was more than KD 10 million because some fees and commissions previously collected by the authority are now collected by Kuwait Stock Exchange.
The authority does not engage in commercial activity even if it has an independent budget; hence, it has been recording deficits amounting to KD 130 million since its establishment. Its total reserves decreased from KD 213 million to KD 82 as the deficits were covered from the general reserve, the lawmaker explained. He said the committee stressed the need to take measures to prevent deficits, such as increasing revenues or revising the nature of the authority’s budget to be an annex rather than independent.
The authority, on the other hand, pointed out that the problem will be solved if the Council of Ministers will approve the proposed establishment of a financial reserve worth KD 1.5 billion. The committee had earlier stated that such reserves need further study and guidance based on the opinions of the Ministry of Finance and SAB. The authority’s expenditure in the budget for the new fiscal year is estimated at KD 36 million – lower than the previous budget of KD 41 million, and it includes 62 job slots for Kuwaitis.
The committee also underscored the need to guarantee equality in the disbursement of annual bonuses, taking into consideration the comments of SAB on this issue. Furthermore, MP Hamoud Al- Khudair urged the government not to return the Early Retirement Bill to the Parliament; indicating he is confident that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak will cooperate in this regard. He believes the premier fully understands the desire of most MPs to pass this bill in the interest of citizens. He asserted the bill, once ratified, will solve a number of perennial problems like the rising unemployment rate.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff