Minister of Education: Nouriya Subeeh Barrak Al-Subeeh
Established in 1962, the Ministry of Education is one of the largest ministries with about 50,000 employees. The Ministry aims at updating and developing educational and teaching methods to ensure education to all citizens of Kuwait.
Education in Kuwait is imparted at four different levels:
- Kindergarten, with a duration of two academic years,
- Primary, with a duration of four academic years,
- Intermediate, with a duration of four academic years and
- Secondary, with a duration of four academic years.
Primary education is a fundamental right and is free and compulsory for all Kuwaitis. The education system in Kuwait can also be divided into three categories: Public, Private and Qualitative.
As per the data of academic year 1998-1999, there were 148 kindergartens, 179 primary schools, 164 intermediate schools and 117 secondary schools in Kuwait.
Private education was originally established to accommodate foreigners working in the country accompanied by their families. The following categories of schools fall under the umbrella of private education: Arabic private schools, foreign private schools (British, American, Indian etc), and cultural institutes (specialising in training, vocational and career studies).
The Arabic private schools receive support from the government and are run according to the academic requirements of the State of Kuwait. Foreign schools are run according to the academic curriculum of the country they emulate, but under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. The Ministry has made it mandatory for these schools to provide courses in Arabic language, Islamic religion, and history, geography and culture.
Qualitative education can be further subdivided into the following segments:
- Religious education It consists of the intermediate and secondary levels. There were 81 religious institutes in 1998-99.
- Special education The Ministry provides special education to handicapped and disabled children in the State.
- Adult education Adult education focuses primarily on the obliteration of illiteracy among adults. The rate of illiteracy continues to decrease.