Kuwait education ministry denies dismissing 800 expat teachers

A ministry spokesperson said only primary computer science teachers had been affected

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Kuwait’s Ministry of Education has denied reports that it made 800 teachers redundant last month.

The ministry’s human resources director, Soud Al-Jowaisri, was quoted by German news agency DPA as saying only those teaching primary level computer science were being cut this year as the subject was no longer in the curriculum.

“Hearsay stories about terminating expat teachers of social studies, Islamic studies and science is absolutely untrue,” he said, according to the publication. “It is general policy of nationalising teaching staff members annually by 25 per cent.”

Al-Jowaisri went on to say that the affected teachers had been informed of the decision last year but it had been postponed to take effect in August at the end of the current academic year.

He said the total number of teachers affected was still being calculated and some may be able to switch to mathematics or stay in Kuwait in special cases if their home countries are stricken by war.

A large group of teachers were notified of their dismissal in February and several more resigned when they were told their rental allowance would be reduced from KD150 ($491) to KD90 ($295).

Reports last year suggested the country was preparing to cut up to 400 teachers in certain subjects including computer science and social studies where there are a high number of Kuwaiti, GCC and Bedouin teachers.

Read: Kuwait to cut hundreds of expat teachers