Kuwait minister resigns over student’s death

March 16, 2013

Kuwait’s education minister has resigned following the death of a student, even though initial reports indicated that the child died of natural causes.

Dr Nayef Al Hajraf said late on Wednesday that he had submitted his resignation assuming responsibility in his political capacity after Noora, 11, died in her classroom at the Sabah Al Nasser middle school.

“We have been briefed about the terrible tragedy and all parties have confirmed that the death was natural,” Al Hajraf said. “A case was recorded at the Interior Ministry stating that the death was natural, but we will wait until the final report is issued,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Watan.

The ministry is launching its own investigation into the case and will involve the school administrative staff, teachers, students and the nurse, the minister said. Students will be given psychological help and counseling to assist them in maintaining or regaining trust in the country’s educational institutions, he added.

Reports said that Noora, a sixth grader, suddenly collapsed in the classroom and was rushed to hospital, but died before the medical staff could do anything. Al Farawniya Hospital sources said that there were no traces of violence or bruises on her body, the daily said.

The school principal, Mona Al Arifan said that the school authorities informed the girl’s mother when she collapsed. “She told us that her daughter did not suffer from any deficiency, allergy or heart condition,” the principal said.

According to reports, a teacher, reportedly an expatriate, had hit Noora with a notebook on her hand.

Al Hajraf and senior Education Ministry officials visited Noora’s family and offered their condolences.

Noora’s father, Ali Hassan, reportedly said that he believed his daughter’s death was natural and that he would not file a complaint.

Noora’s uncle, Hussain, told the daily that the family accepted her death as fate and that they would not sue the teacher in case she was found guilty of causing it.

A senior government official said that the minister’s resignation had not been accepted by Wednesday evening.




About the author

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

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