Kuwait City
Kuwait City. Image Credit: Reuters

Kuwait City: As the Kuwaiti government is working on returning 2,000 expat teachers stuck abroad, the Ministry of Education stated that they have processed visas of around 650 teachers who are expected to return to the country in the middle of this month, local media reported.

Some of the teachers have been stranded outside the country for over a year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similar to all residents entering the country, teachers need to have doses of one of the approved vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) and a valid residency permit.

For those that have an expired residency permit, the Ministry of Education is working with the Ministry of Interior to issue them a new entry visa so that they can enter the country.

Since mid-July, around 1,620 teachers have registered on the Ministry’s official website stating that they want to return to Kuwait.

Return to school

The move comes as the Ministry of Education is planning on resuming in person learning for all schools starting September. There is a lot of confusion around the matter and it is unclear if all schools will go back completely to face to face classes.

Although the matter is not yet settled, the Ministry of Health also joined the efforts by starting to vaccinate children between 12 and 15 years old as of Sunday.

As for teachers and those above the age of 16, the ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, has prioritised the specific segment especially since in person exams took place last month. The 10th-12th grade students, across various schools, sat in for in-person exams after a heated debate as to whether it was safe or not.

School closures

All schools, kindergartens and universities were closed since March 12, 2020 over the growing concern of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

After a seven-month halt, all public schools began the 2020/2021 academic year online. Private schools have continued with the e-learning method since the start of the pandemic.

The only schools that were given the green light to operate in-person lessons are schools for children with special needs, who resumed classes on December 20.