UN report: 221,820 ‘kids’ in Kuwait not enrolled in school
KUWAIT CITY, March 29: According to the annual statistics of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 221,820 children of school age in Kuwait did not enroll in schools in the year 2023. They include 60,790 children of primary school age, 81,180 of intermediate school age, and 79,850 of secondary school age, reports Al-Rai daily. Educational sources revealed that these children mentioned in the statistics include both Kuwaiti and expatriate children.
They described the statistics as “frightening and offensive, as the number of students deprived of education did not exceed 12,000 in 2008”. The sources stressed the need to enact laws that oblige expatriates to send their children to school. They explained that the ministry’s justifications are represented by the presence of a large number of children of some communities, estimated at thousands, who are being home-schooled on curricula that are applied in their countries.
Also, some expatriate residents send their children to study in their countries of origin while keeping their residencies valid. The sources said, “The poor electronic link in the Ministry of Education between public and private schools has resulted in Kuwaiti students appearing in UNESCO statistics. They include the children of a number of diplomats who are working abroad, some students enrolled in foreign schools, and a number of children of disintegrated families.
Dozens of students were reported not to have enrolled in schools due to the large number of divorce cases. There are also cases of disabled Kuwaiti students in the statistics. The state must support the private sector in attracting them with all their disabilities and categories.” They stressed the importance of addressing administrative errors that led to the presence of some Kuwaiti students in the statistics even though they are enrolled in private schools.
The sources concluded that, “Such a high number in the statistics means that the percentage of those deprived of education is equivalent to 10 percent. This is a very high percentage and harms the reputation of the educational system in Kuwait. Most Gulf countries oblige expatriates, who wish for their families to live with them, to submit educational certificates of their children to prove their enrollment in the schools of their countries, and to ensure these children are taught properly and not deprived of their right to education.”
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