Q8Sultana's Blog...

Generally I can be found roaming somewhere in the world. I'm originally from Hungary, I grew up in Kuwait, I did my BA in the States, my MA in the UK, and now work in Hungary, but still return to Kuwait regularly :o)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Education in Kuwait

I've been doing some research into Kuwaiti social services before and after oil, and I came accross this passage about the government school system.
I'd be interested to receive some feedback from you all, because from what I know and heard about government schools, some of the stuff written sounds rather idealistic, and might have had been true at some point in history but not anymore. Or is it??

Education was one of the earliest priorities in the oil era (in Kuwait). In the early 1950s the government embarked on a large-scale education project involving school construction and the hiring of new teachers. In 1965 school was made compulsory for Kuwaitis to age fourteen. In the 1960s the government introduced a major adult literacy program. Consequently, the school population and level of education rose quickly. The government also developed higher education, primarily through the establishment of Kuwait University in 1966. Today (the book was published in 1992) Kuwait has one of the best school systems in the region and one of the highest literacy and educational rates as well. Free education for school children include books, uniforms, meals, transportation, and even a parental allowance. The system is well-funded, modern, and comprehensive. At the university, free education includes not only tuition but also dormitories, meals, and such perks as free sportswear, transportation, and field trips. The government also sends students abroad on state fellowships.

Jill Crystal: KUWAIT: The Transformation of an Oil State 1992

5 Comments:

Blogger genesis said...

Books are still offered for free in schools until this day and Transportation is offered in some schools, but not free Uniforms, Meals or Parental Allowances.. as far as I know it stopped in the 80's..

And about the university.. everything except the meals are still offered.. now they added a minimal registration fee of 10 or 15 KD I'm not sure..

Well I can't tell you that it's well funded.. but you can look up the University's Budget and/or Financial Statement if available and consider for yourself if it's well funded or not.. but from what I know.. their annual budget is through the roof..

Modern, I guess they are demolishing old schools that were built in the 60's and 70's and building new ones now.. aren't they? I'm out of the country so I can't tell but i heard people talking about that.. and about the courses and their material I believe they are updating them every few years if not annualy..

Comprehensive? well.... that's very subjective.. I'm not sure anyone can say it is or it isn't..

I hope this answers your questions..

8:23 AM, November 26, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was the way they wanted it to be. but it is not now. its sad to see how ugly the schools look and the kind of education our kids r getting its not as what our generation (20 years ago) had. hopefully our kids will be able to change this because its not getting any better!!!!!

2:46 PM, November 27, 2005  
Blogger q8Sultana said...

Thanks for your replies...:o)

I think Im going to give up on trying to generate semi-serious discussions though, because hardly anyone ever comments...(exceptions apply)

I guess people either don't have an opinion or they're just lazy to write them down. Or my blog is just too unpopular.

Also, I'm only asking all these questions out of interest, not because I want to include them in my research or anything like that.

When I read this particular part in a book, I was actually laughing out loud cause it's actually the exact opposit of what I've known about public schools from my Kuwaiti friends, thats why I was asking.

4:57 PM, November 27, 2005  
Blogger BitterSweet said...

"At the university, free education includes not only tuition but also dormitories, meals, and such perks as free sportswear, transportation, and field trips"

I would like to comment on this sentence. As far as I know, this only applied for primary school pupils only until the 80's (I think it until '83). Providing school uniform, meals allowances etc stopped as the total of pupils increased enormously (also due to the increase of immigration) back then.

As far the university concerns, services such as dorms, free transportation, allowances etc were only meant for overseas students who were granted scholarships by the ministry of education. There were (are??)two students complexes for these students, one for male students in 3dailiya and one for female students in Shuwaikh.

This article states what the government desired in an ideal situation. In practical life the system didn't work properly, however, I can't say it was a total mess! Compared to other Arab or even Gulf states, the Kuwaiti’s were better off with their own education system.

Just out of curiosity: What are you researching?

9:46 PM, November 29, 2005  
Blogger q8Sultana said...

I just did a paper on education and health care in Kuwait before oil revenues started to flow in.
But its alreay finished ans handed in :o)

11:44 PM, November 29, 2005  

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