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Kuwaiti lawmaker: 'deport expat teachers!' Open in fullscreen

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Kuwaiti lawmaker: 'deport expat teachers!'

The “demographic imbalance” in Kuwait has led to the escalation of hostility against expats [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 May, 2017

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Al-Shaheen’s comments come as the Kuwait government is trying to recruit expat teachers, placing a specific emphasis on hiring Palestinian teachers.

In the Kuwaiti political establishment’s latest call against expats, a Kuwaiti MP has called for replacing expat teachers with Kuwaiti teachers in a bid to reduce the number of foreigners in the Emirdom.

MP Osama Al-Shaheen was quoted by Gulf News claiming such steps must be out of an urgent need to address the 'demographic imbalance'.

"The figures indicate that the country has 71,014 teachers, including 46,079 Kuwaiti nationals, which means that there are 24,935 expat Arab and non-Arab teachers. All this means that there are potentially 25,000 jobs for Kuwaiti men and women," Al-Shaheen said during a Press conference on Tuesday in Kuwait City.

He also called for reducing the number of expat children attending public schools, regardless of whether their parents are able to afford private education or not.

This is in spite of the fact that expat students cannot automatically enrol in public schools. They must be under a category of students that have been given exemptions by the state.

Al-Shaheen’s comments come as the Kuwait government is trying to recruit expat teachers, placing a specific emphasis on hiring Palestinian teachers.

In October 2016, Palestinian Ambassador to Kuwait Rami Tahboub had announced that the Kuwaiti Ministry of Education was seeking to hire Palestinian teachers to help enhance education quality in the 2017-2018 school year.

This is because Palestinians in Kuwait have a reputation for being among the best educators, mainly due to the contribution Palestinian teachers who contributed to the cementing of Kuwait’s educational and other governmental institutions as the state was developing.

Read also: The roots of resilience in Palestinian culture

The question of “demographic imbalance” in Kuwait has led to the escalation of hostile sentiments against expats, and the tightening of laws and regulations to discourage them from staying in the country.

Radical measures have been proposed, including the banning of expats from driving, to decrease road traffic.

Kuwaitis have also been acting upon the racist rhetoric being spewed against expats, often putting the lives of vulnerable workers at risk.

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