Al-Watan Daily: "World Bank warns Kuwait over education standards" by Nasser AlـOtaibi


"The World Bank has raised concerns over Kuwait''s current education system and warned that the perpetuation of the existing structure may render the country''s high school certificates unrecognized by major academic institutions in the future.

The warning came as part of the observations raised by the bank with regards to the overall education system in the country. The World Bank recently opened a bureau in Kuwait to provide the government''s various institutions with technical advice.

Sources close to the Ministry of Education revealed to Al Watan that the World Bank has based its findings on the short school hours, reportedly arguing that such timings are out of sync with international standards. The sources added that the total number of school days in Kuwait is calculated at about 170 per year.

They added that the relatively short school day in terms of hours "can negatively impact on the quality of education," noting that the World Bank has made a number of recommendations, including prolonging school day hours to meet international standards, "or else Kuwait''s academic certificates may not be recognized by timeـhonored universities."

"The ministry, however, hasn''t taken any decision concerning the recommendations, particularly with regards to the proposition of prolonging the school day," the sources added, noting, nevertheless, that the ministry is serious about improving education standards.

They pointed out to the fact that the ministry had gone a long way in keeping abreast of advanced education systems through major projects and added that the new educational blueprints are aimed at advancing education at all levels, including the primary, intermediate and secondary stages.

They insisted that the ministry spares no effort in maintaining quality in education in order to bring about meaningful development in the country, while ruling out the prospect of protracting the school day.
Meanwhile, a committee tasked with looking into the recently reported leakage of high school examinations will be submitting its report next week, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Moudi AlـHomoud said Thursday.

"Once the report is submitted, the probe results will be made public. The ministry will then have nothing to hide," AlـHomoud told reporters following a meeting of the Parliamentary Educational, Cultural and Guidance committee.

The exam leaks were reported just prior to the examinations, and the Ministry of Education immediately set up a committee to investigate the issue.

Also during the committee meeting preparations and arrangements for the coming academic year were reviewed, including facilities, textbooks and technical equipment, the minister said.

Asked about segregation between male and female students at universities, she said the student segregation law was being enforced and "nothing new has happened in this respect."...(for link to article, click here)

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