Number of students huge, budget insufficient.

The teaching staff union of the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) has called on the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Saud Al-Harbi and the Parliament’s Budgets and Final Accounts Committee to allow the PAAET director to transfer between the budget items in a way that will help reduce the problem of closed sections that its students face, reports Aljarida daily. In a press statement, the union affirmed that it will not abandon the colleges and its students at a time when the government and the Parliament have failed to “implement”, stressing that it is not fair to leave the PAAET director in such a desperate position, as the number of students is huge and the budget will not meet the obligations.

It explained that all faculty members are ready to accept work for free during the summer semester in order to provide the necessary academic sections for students.

There is a wide range of members with high qualifications, and their capabilities and experiences can be taken advantage of in order to fill the shortage in all faculties of PAAET, especially the Basic Education Department of the College of Basic Education, which have been deprived of summer courses throughout the past years. The union denounced the government’s position to reduce the budget, as there are 30,000 students stumbling from scholarships due to the crisis caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic, in addition to 27,000 students who are high school graduates and are looking for places to complete their studies.

Meanwhile, the teaching and training associations of the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) announced that they are not responsible if their members refrain from teaching during the summer semester, as it is an exceptional semester that is not linked to its functional tasks in the ordinary semesters of the academic year.

They said the budget for this has not been endorsed, and it has been affected by unjust random budget cuts without the slightest regard for the future of the students and the educational process in Kuwait, reports Al-Rai daily. The associations stressed that nearly 200 teaching and training staff members petitioned to boycott the summer semester, which are sufficient numbers to create a new crisis “from the womb of an invented crisis”.

In a joint statement issued by the associations of faculty members and the association of training staff in PAAET, it was stated that, “The number of high school graduates, with a success rate of nearly 100 percent, confirms our previous fears and concerns.

It warned us against the consequences of an increase in the number of students in exchange for an unjust budget cuts, which is entrusted with accepting the largest share of these numbers at the expense of the quality of education. Since the budget has been cut by half with the consequent cancellation of classes that were previously opened and had led students to enroll in them by the thousands, they will be canceled without the slightest sense of responsibility and concern about the students’ future and their right to pass the courses and continue without stumbling or delay.

What this results in is an increase and accumulation of the number of students at the expense of the graduating and continuing students. The associations are fully aware of the true motive of the calls to abstain from teaching, which were launched by academic groups that are frustrated and discontent about the general education situation especially in terms of disregarding some of the positions of the teaching and training members and falsely accusing them of gaining by carrying out their teaching duties during summer.

This is rejected by the associations, and the petition has so far reached nearly 200 teaching and training members, which are sufficient numbers to create a new crisis out of the womb of an invented crisis”. The statement clarified the demands of the associations, the most prominent of which is keeping the academic classes and registering students according to the budget before reducing it, as well as not opening new academic sections.

Source- Arab Times.

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