Kuwait teachers postpone sit-in amid pledges to discuss their demands

September 26, 2010
By

Moodhi Al Humood

A planned sit-in by Kuwait’s Teachers’ Society was postponed following a meeting with the prime minister.

The 25-minute protest was scheduled to be staged on October 5 to protest against the education minister’s decision to lengthen the school day by 25 to 35 minutes.

However, the society said that it would put off the protest after Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah said that he would discuss the matter with Moodhi Al Humoud, the education minister, at the cabinet meeting on Monday.

The society said that the minister’s move was not based on any study, did not have academic criteria or clear plan and did not take into consideration the teachers’ perspective on the matter.

According to the society, the suggestion to add minutes to the daily schedule was made with the intention of filling a time slot with activities allegedly to strengthen a sense of patriotism among students.

A society source said that patriotic activities were already a part of the school’s curriculum and that the new programmes would not add anything new.

“National values can be done in any class setting and a special class is completely unnecessary,” the source said, according to Kuwait Times daily.

The teachers’ society is concerned that if such a move is allowed, other ones with harsher consequences may be passed, the source said.

In March, the education ministry conducted a pilot study to check the possibility of extending school hours.

However, the move was promptly rejected by the teachers’ society and in a strongly-worded statement issued in August, KTS said that “the minister is drawing the academic sector back to instability,” and that “the step adopted by the ministry indicates that the officials do not understand reality of the academic situation and its requirements.”

Earlier this month, Kuwait media reported that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) was set to resume talks with the interior and education ministries on a project to extend working hours for employees in Kuwait’s public sector.

The talks, suspended for almost eight months, will focus on introducing a new schedule, in which civil servants’ working day would start at 8am and finish at 3pm.

 

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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