Kuwait has a compulsory and free school for eight years
for all children aged 6-14. There are a number of private
schools. Foreign children must have lived in Kuwait for 10
years in order to attend public school. In the first four
years of primary school, it is taught only in Arabic. In the
middle stage, Arabic and English are emphasized equally.
Kuwait has a teacher's college, a technical college and one
university with 18,000 students (1999). Many students from
Kuwait study abroad. In 2001, over 17% of the adult
population was considered illiterate. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Kuwait.
In March 1998, the emir formed a new government and replaced
his finance minister.
After several MPs had threatened to dismiss the Minister
of Islamic Affairs for errors regarding printing a 120,000
edition of the Qur'an, the emir decided in May 1999 to
dissolve parliament and print new elections in July - 1½
years earlier than planned. By then, Deputy Prime Minister
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah had unsuccessfully urged
members to renounce mistrust.
Despite the fact that Kuwaiti women have been leading
businesses, newspapers, leading diplomatic missions for
decades, taking an active part in the oil industry and
generally accounting for 30% of the country's labor force,
it was not until 1999 that the emir allowed the government
to pass a law that must give women the right to vote and
vote. However, women first obtained this right in 2003 - ie.
2 electoral terms following the enactment of the law.
In April 2001, another government transformation was
completed. A fire at an oil refinery in early 2002 led to
criticism by the oil minister who was forced to resign. A
series of debates in Parliament about the events led to
accusations of corruption, incompetence and nepotism, which,
for both parliamentarians and observers, emphasized the
problems of the way the government works. The situation led
to the proposed candidates for the post of Minister of Oil
refusing to stand, and the decision-making process in the
ministry therefore completely stalled. As a temporary
solution, the Minister of Information, Sheikh Ahmad Fahd
al-Sabah, was also instructed to be Minister of Oil until
the 2003 elections.
Following the September 11, 2001 attack on the United
States, the emir declared his support for the anti-terror
coalition led by the United States. This led to backlash
from Islamists who did not agree. This can increase social
and political instability in the country.
The United States, Britain and a number of smaller
countries invaded in March 2003. The Arab League unanimously
condemned the invasion - with the exception of Kuwait.
Acc. the annual report by Amnesty International in 2003
sentenced Kuwait to four men on death row - including one
convicted of the murder of a journalist in March 2001. The
other 3 - 1 Kuwaiti and 2 Saudi - were convicted of rape and
murder of a 6-year-old girl in May. The three stated at the
start of the trial that they had confessed under torture,
yet the court accepted the confessions. The dead were hanged
in public, and the bodies were "showcased" for 10 minutes
after the execution.
In the elections to the National Assembly in July 2003,
the Islamic groups got 21 seats, the government parties 14,
the independent 13 and the liberals 3.
In February 2004, two contingents of Japanese soldiers
arrived in Kuwait to join the occupation of Iraq. These were
the first Japanese soldiers sent into a conflict zone after
the end of World War II.
In January 2004, the government presented more than 200
charges of war crimes against Saddam Hussein and his closest
advisers, conducted during Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in
1990-91. At the same time, the government declared it
willing to drastically reduce Iraq's debt to Kuwait.