KuwaitOther News

Taxi owners protest ‘one passenger’ rule

KUWAIT: Around 70 citizens – owners of roaming taxi companies who have been badly affected by the decision to ban taxis from serving more than one passenger at a time – held a sit-in outside the Interior Ministry’s headquarters in Subhan in protest against the decision and demanding scrapping it as it has caused considerable losses, Al-Rai reported yesterday.

The protesters pointed out that the losses include paying fines in hundreds of cases they are facing because of the ‘unjust’ decision, in addition to financial obligations including rent, installments and other expenses. Protesters also warned that the decision would lead to shutting down 300 taxi companies owned by small entrepreneurs facing threats of imprisonment if the decision remains effective.

Abdul Aziz Al-Mutairi, one of the protesters, urged the interior minister to cancel the decision, and wondered about the reason for exempting model 2013 taxis from the decision. “Many taxi drivers have parked their taxis outside taxi companies and bought their own private cars to start using them as taxis, leaving us owners to face the unknown and imprisonment,” he said.

“It is impossible to put this decision into practice and be unable to serve a family or a woman accompanied by children. This will put us out of business,” said Adel Buzobar; another taxi company owner, urging MoI to come up with quick solutions for the problem and save licensed taxi operators from competition with cabbies using private cars, which is illegal.

New teachers
In other news, well-informed educational sources told Al-Rai that Ministry of Education’s (MoE) administrative sector had referred 35-40 new applications by teachers to the ministry’s coordination unit to schedule job interviews for them, noting that 99.9 percent of the applicants will be accepted and that new graduates (who graduated within less than a year) would be exempted from the interviews.

The sources also stressed that the new teachers’ contracts and salaries will remain unchanged, and that in its letter to the administrative sector, the public education sector had not determined the number of teachers needed for the new academic year.

Noting that a maximum of 120 teachers used to apply locally, the sources predicted that MoE will not be able to hire enough teachers in certain subjects through local applications, especially after the new Civil Service Commission (CSC) law that conditions that applicants’ degree must match the professions in their work permits, which excluded a large segment of expats.

Further, the sources stressed that the available job vacancies offered by CSC to MoE is only 780, while the ministry needs 1,000 teachers in certain specialties. “The annual resignations and the problem of teachers stranded abroad will surely cause shortages by the beginning of the next school year,” the sources predicted.

In another educational concern, sources told Al-Rai that MoE amended the grading system for grade 12 students in the supplementary session of the academic year 2019-2020 by reducing weekly assessment grades from 20 to 15 marks – 5 for attendance, 5 for interaction and participation and 5 for assignments.

The sources explained that the total weekly assessment marks will be 75, leaving 25 allocated for a report or paper students submit in the final (sixth) week instead of the final exam. “Success prospects will be high and no students are expected to fail,” the sources stressed.

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