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«OER in Kuwait This is a short stand-alone report on Open Educational Resources in Kuwait Overview Kuwait (‫ )دولة الكويت‬is an ...»

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OER in Kuwait

This is a short stand-alone report on Open Educational Resources in Kuwait

Overview

Kuwait (‫ )دولة الكويت‬is an independent country with a constitution. It has an Amiri regime, the family of

Mubarak AlSabah, and a national parliament of 50 members chosen by people of Kuwait every 4

years. Islam is the official religion in Kuwait and Arabic is the official language.

Kuwait is located in the north-western corner of the Arabian Gulf, between latitudes 28.30 – 30.06 north and longitude 46.30 – 48.30 east. It is bounded on the north and north-west of the Republic of Iraq, and to the south and south-west Saudi Arabia, also bounded by the east of the Arabian Gulf.

Kuwait has commercial importance as a result of its location, which is a natural outlet for northeast of the Arabian Peninsula, and covers an area of 17.818 square kilometres. According to the Central Statistical Office, the population of Kuwait was estimated at 3.328.136 people, 1.038.598 Kuwaitis and the rest are foreigners, and most of the state's population is living in Kuwait City and its suburbs, particularly in the areas along with the coast of the Arabian Gulf.

Figure 1: Population Pyramid of Kuwait (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ku.html) In Kuwait, oil accounts for almost 50% of GDP and 89% of the revenues (2010/2011 Budget Report).

As in most oil producers’ countries in the region, the raise in global oil prices is revitalizing the economic growth and increasing the government budget revenue that result in higher budget expenditures. Accordingly, due to Kuwait highly vulnerable situation in relation to world oil prices, the recent five years development plan advocates diversity in economy, attracts more investment, and consolidates privatization.

For further information see:

1. http://www.e.gov.kw/sites/kgoarabic/portal/Pages/Visitors/AboutKuwait.aspx

2. http://www.mof.gov.kw/Budget/Default.aspx Manal AlMarwani 1 January 2013

3. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ku.html 4. (2013). Kuwait Information Technology Report – Q1 2013. London, United Kingdom, London, Business Monitor International: 1-79.

Education in Kuwait Since its independence in 1961, Kuwait believes in education as an effective apparatus of the political, economic, social, and cultural development process. However, formal education began in Kuwait since 1911 when the first public school for boys was established depending on donations from rich people and merchants. Girls did not receive any opportunity until the establishment of the first girls’ school in 1936. At the same time, 1936, the first Council of Education was established and teachers were employed from other Arab states predominantly from Palestine, Egypt, and Syria.

After the discovery of oil in the late 1930s, the need for formal education is increased, but the Council of Education has not changed into Ministry of Education until 1962. Students were sent abroad to study for the first time in 1941 to Bahrain. The first two high schools for boys and girls were established in 1953 and the first kindergarten in 1955. The compulsory education law was initiated in 1965 following the establishment of Ministry of Education. This law indicated that all Kuwaiti between the age of 6 and 14 must attend primary and intermediate schools. In 1955, Kuwaiti technical school was founded to prepare manpower for industrialization and modernization era of the country. Training institutes for teachers established in 1949 to qualify teachers with diploma in education. These institutes turned into Bachelor degree colleges in 1993. Kuwait University, the only public university till today, was founded in 1966 when there were only four colleges: College of Science, College of Arts, College of Education, and College for Women. In 1967, more colleges were founded: College of Law, College of Islamic Studies, College of Business, College of Economics, and College of Political Science. In 1973, the College of Medicine is established while the College of Engineering and Petroleum is established in 1974. The College of Graduate Studies launched in 1977. The Colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Dentistry were also founded. In 1995, the College of Business Administration is established in Kuwait University instead of the College of Business. To give higher education more attention, the Ministry of Higher education was founded in 1988. Nowadays, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training supervises 5 colleges and 10 institutes in different applied specializations besides Kuwait University which consists of 16 colleges and various general services and work centres.

In order to create a suitable climate for the development of the educational process in Kuwait, to develop education, improving outcomes, make a quantum leap in the current educational systems, and creating an educational system according to the scientific principles, the National Centre for Education Development was launched in 2006. Its attributions supervised by both the Minister of Education and the Minster of Higher Education.

Sourced from:

1. Ministry of Education http://www.moe.edu.kw/SitePages/kw_his.aspx

2. Public Authority for Applied Education and Training http://www.paaet.edu.kw/mysite/default.aspx

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4. Kuwait University http://www.kuniv.edu/ku/ Higher Education in Kuwait There is only one governmental university in Kuwait besides 5 colleges and 10 institutes running by Public Authority for Applied Education and Training.

Moreover, there are 8 accredited private institutions of higher education:

 Gulf University for Science and Technology  Kuwait-Maastricht Business School  Arab Open University – Kuwait Branch  Australian College of Kuwait  American University of Kuwait  American University of Middle East  American College of Middle East  Box Hill College Kuwait.

Quality procedures To ensure conformity with all rules and stipulations for licensing private educational institutions, Private Universities’ Council (PUC) which is a government institution chaired by Minister of Higher Education and membership of 8 of experts in higher education was established.

Private Universities’ Council (PUC) – see http://www.puc.edu.kw Accredited Institutions – see http://www.puc.edu.kw/en/index.php?com=category&act=view&id=18 Other Organizations Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) was emerged in 1967 by the Arabian Oil Company, Ltd. (Japan), and in implementation of its obligations under the Convention on the oil exploration agreements with the Government of the State of Kuwait. The Institute was reorganized by an Amiri decree in 1973, where he became a follower of the Council of Ministers and under the supervision of the Board of Trustees with its mission to promote scientific and applied research, particularly in matters related to industry, natural and food resources and other primary constituents of national economy. In recognition of the importance of scientific and technological research in advancing economic and social development of the country, an Amiri Decree issued in 1981, which announced the establishment of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research officially, as a public institution with independent legal position, under the supervision of the Board of Trustees chaired by a minister Chosen by the Council of Ministers. This degree entrusted the Institute with undertaking research

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Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) is a private, non-profit organization, established by an Amiri Decree issued in 1976. KFAS is managed and administered by a Board of Directors (BOD), chaired by H.H. the Amir of the State of Kuwait. It aims to develop a strong awareness campaign in favour of science and scientific education and culture, enhance and integrate research capacity in and among scientific institutes in Kuwait, support and develop the system of the national science, technology and innovation, support and develop scientific and technical capabilities

of the private sector, and contribute to building a knowledge-based economy. It has three centres:

the Scientific Centre http://www.tsck.org.kw/, Dasman Diabetes Institute http://www.dasmaninstitute.org, and Sabah Al Ahmed Center for Giftedness and Creativity http://www.kuwaitcreativity.org.

Sourced from:

1. Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences http://www.kfas.com/

2. Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research http://www.kisr.edu.kw/Default.aspx?pageId=104&mid=210 Internet in Kuwait As part of the GCC Consortium, submarine cable, fibre optic and terrestrial satellite networks cover Kuwait. Currently, Kuwait has four licensed Internet Service Providers (ISPs): Qualitynet, Zajil International Telecom Company K.S.C.C, Fast Telecommunications (Fastelco), and United Networks, and more than 50 sub-ISPs to lease internet access to users under government internet regulations and policies. The total internet users reported at the end of December 2011 are around 1.497 million users with 3% higher penetration from a year earlier. The youthful population demographics are driving the growth.

Being aware of the potential of ICT to improve both social and economic development, Kuwait has allocated significant budgets to develop a digital economy and national level policies for egovernment. A variety of key factors guides and enhances the spending and approaches of ICT. First of all, the government makes every effort to create an effective e-government structure including all the country's ministries and other state bodies. a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Singapore was signed in 2004 under which the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) had developed an Implementation Blueprint for the establishment of a new IT Entity and an e-Government Blueprint for the State of Kuwait. Another MoU was signed a year later, 2005 to ascertain Singapore as an advisor to Kuwait on Information Technology and e-Government matters in order to made use of the successful experiences around the world as Singapore initiated its e-Government Project early in 2000, which made Singapore a pioneer in this field.

Subsequently, four national projects have been declared by the Central Agency for Information Technology: Kuwait Government Online (KGO), The Kuwait Government Call Center (KGCC), Kuwait Information Network (KIN), and Kuwait News Project (Memory of Kuwait Project).

Manal AlMarwani 4 January 2013 The first one is KGO, the official portal of the State of Kuwait (www.e.gov.kw). It provides governmental information and services to all citizens, residents, and visitors in addition to the governmental and business sectors in the state of Kuwait. KGO portal is available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week, in Arabic and English. It also includes Government ePayment System (Tasdeed), a governmental system provides a fast and secure way to pay governmental invoices and fees at any time.

The second one is KGCC, a 24-hour facility that serves all users of the e-government services through Kuwait Government Online portal website (http://www.e.gov.kw/sites/KGOArabic/Portal/Pages/InformationPages/ContactUs.aspx).

The third is KIN, a new network that enable non-governmental organizations and government agencies to exchange information securely at higher speeds and more cost-effective (http://www.cait.gov.kw/National-Projects/Kuwait-Information-Network.aspx). It will be mandatory among all government agencies in Kuwait and all non-governmental entities that wish to communicate with a governmental entity. This network will improve the information and services and enhance efficiency in government operations.

The fourth is a national database (memory of Kuwait) to include everything published in Kuwaiti newspapers since the declaration of independence of the State of Kuwait in the early sixties of the last century, which is accompanied by the release of a number of Kuwaiti newspapers daily monitored the general situation of the country in different variables as reflected cultural history and social and coping with political and economic changes over forty years, which can be used by researchers and students to track the real evolution of the state at all levels and in various fields from independence till the era of technological and economic development. In 2010, 350,000 articles have been indexed and archived (http://www.cait.gov.kw/National-Projects/Kuwait-NewsProject.aspx).

Health sector has also implemented ICT solutions and projects to systematize national healthcare delivery and management. In the Saudi e-Health Conference 2010, organized by Saudi Association for Health Informatics (SAHI), it was announced by the Kuwaiti minister that the Ministry of Health of Kuwait is seeking to set up an integrated electronic communication network to link up all sectors and departments of the ministry including hospitals, medical centres and clinics. Several projects are in process as part of the overall governmental plan for e-government working for setting up Electronic Medical Records, Primary Healthcare System, Hospital Management Information System, Health Registration System, Health Insurance System, and Birth and Death Information System.

Another key factor is the hydrocarbon sector as Kuwait National Petroleum Company KNPC is investing in ICT to enhance productivity, and boost overall business agility. Moreover, the banking sector is a major user of technology as banks and other financial services organisations look to become more efficient and launch new services. The same for Telecoms, which is another growth area for technology, as service providers with their intentions to increase their revenues facilitate more offers and services to customers. Furthermore, construction is another key sector that drives the use of ICT services in order to be one of the region's emerging construction markets to cope with the high level of population growth, economic growth and high oil price. Not to mention, the Kuwaiti consumers who have high disposable incomes and have a tendency to be well informed about up-todate technology trends. For example, in 2013, the Kuwaiti computer hardware market is expected to

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