KUWAIT CITY, Nov 9: The housing facilities provided for non-Kuwaiti teachers need to be highlighted, as the Ministry of Education spent more than KD 4.2 million on it during the last academic year 2019/2020 despite the availability of seven government buildings designated for this purpose, but were unused and closed for long periods ranging from eight years to 21 years, reports Al-Qabas daily.
According to reliable sources, the number of lease contracts for teachers’ housing signed by the Ministry of Education last year amounted to 24 in total, with six belonging to the Capital Educational Zone, five to Jahra Educational Zone, four to Farwaniya Educational Zone, four to Ahmadi Educational Zone and two to Mubarak Al-Kabeer Educational Zone.
The sources stressed that the Ministry of Education unnecessarily caused additional financial burdens to the general budget amounting to approximately KD 275,000 as rents paid for unused apartments for teachers for periods exceeding 11 months, specifically during the period from April 2019 to February 2020. This is in violation of the Cabinet’s decisions to cut down the government’s expenditure.
They revealed that 81 apartments of the buildings in Salmiya, Hawally and Fintas areas were not inhabited by anyone and remained empty for nearly a year, which is a waste of public money, noting that the occupancy rate in some buildings reached 57 percent, which required studying the extent of the need to renew such rental contracts on an annual basis.
The sources also highlighted the misuse of state-owned housing units which were substituted by about 22 leased buildings, six of which are in Ahmadi, five in Farwaniya, four in Jahra, four in the capital, and three in Hawally.
They said there are 167 apartments in these buildings that are also unused, especially in the Ahmadi and Jahra educational zones, stressing the need to redistribute teachers to ensure optimal use of the leased buildings in order to rationalize public spending.
It is noteworthy that the rental contracts signed by the Ministry of Education have cost the state more than KD 4 million annually, which are sums that can be saved in the event of restoration, maintenance and utilization of the buildings belonging to it to house its teachers.