School and Education in Kuwait


The school obligation covers 8 years in primary and middle school from the age of 6 to 14. About 90% of 6-7 year olds start school. The secondary school comprises 4 years. After graduating from this, you can transfer to the university, which was opened in 1966 and in 1988 had over 15,000 students, the majority of women. Many male students, on the other hand, receive their education at Western educational institutions.

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All education is free for Kuwait’s citizens, as are educational materials, school meals, school uniforms and transport to the school. For non-Kuwaiti, education is partially subsidized. The combination of well-developed school and adult education has meant that the majority of the population is literate. One problem for educational planning is that more than half of the population is non-Kuwaiti.

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Kuwait Country Flag

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At the beginning of 2011, 106,000 stateless people – also called Bidun – lived in Kuwait. In the run-up to the Arab Spring, thousands of these went on the streets demanding citizenship and social rights. After first rejecting the claims, Kuwait’s authorities next provided stateless residents with access to education and health care.

Following widespread protests against Prime Minister Nassar al-Sabah, in November 2011, it was removed and replaced by Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

The February 2012 parliamentary elections were won by the opposition, which got 34 of the 50 seats in parliament. The largest group was Sunni Islamists who received 13 seats.

In June 2012, 26-year-old Hamad al-Naqi was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly criticizing on Twitter the kings of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as for “mocking the prophet”.

In 2012, the “Arab Spring” reached Kuwait – and was suffocated at birth. Parliament demanded more democracy. The king replied in October by dissolving this. Over 5,000 subsequently demonstrated with demands for democracy. The demonstration was disbanded by the security forces and the king subsequently banned the assembly of more than 20 people. During the year, 9 death sentences were handed down, but none were enforced. Two Iranians and a Kuwaiti who had been sentenced to death in 2011 for “espionage in favor of Iran” were sentenced to life imprisonment by a court of appeal.

After the dissolution of parliament, the king held new elections in December. The turnout was 43% the lowest in the country’s history. The opposition had already called for a boycott. Already in June 2013, the Constitutional Court dissolved the parliament and allowed the king to print new elections. Despite a new boycott by the opposition, turnout this time reached 52.5%. Parties are banned in Kuwait, so parliamentarians enter into loose alliances. In any case, the power lies in the land of the king and his government.

Freedom of expression was still severely limited. During 2013, 29 people were brought to trial for wording “criticism” by the government on social media. They were charged under Section 25 of the 1975 Kuwait Penal Code providing up to 5 years in prison for “criticism of the emir or his government officials”.

In January, the emir transformed his government. Replaced 7 ministers, including the oil and finance ministers. At the same time, the number of Islamist ministers increased from 2 to 4.

In May 2014, the Emir signed a new censorship law granting a new Internet authority extensive rights to grant and revoke licenses for Web sites and to censor them.

In 2014, 33 people were deprived of their Kuwaiti citizenship. Among other things. for criticism of the government. Five people were sentenced to death during the year, but no death sentence was enforced during the year.

Egypt’s dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited Kuwait in January 2015. Kuwait had already decided to give $ 4 billion in advance. US $ in gift to Egypt. That prompted former MP Saleh al-Mulla to tweet: “Your Royal Highness. It is a mistake in the current circumstances to give more support to a sister nation. We have provided enough and this money belongs to the Kuwaiti people ”. In response, he was arrested by the security police and charged with both insulting al-Sisi and the king. After 8 days in prison, al-Mulla was released on bail. Dozens of other kuwaiti were jailed for expressing a different attitude than the emir.

Kuwait joined Saudi Arabia’s attack war against Yemen.