Education in Kuwait
Kuwait’s education system is larger than ever. There are currently close to 500,000
students enrolled in Kuwaiti schools, constituting approximately 30 percent of
the entire population.
There are three basic levels of education in Kuwait
– elementary, intermediate, and secondary. Each level involves four years of study,
and schooling usually begins at age six. Pre-school is available to four to six
year olds, and students who complete their basic education can continue on to
higher education. Schooling is compulsory for all children ages six to 14 (elementary
and intermediate levels) and all stages of state education, including higher education,
are free. Students in all Kuwaiti schools study English beginning in the second
Many Kuwaitis choose not to send their children
to government schools but, rather, enroll them in private schools. There are numerous
private schools in Kuwait, many of which have foreign sponsors and are co-ed.
The Bayan Bilingual School, the American School of Kuwait, the American International
School, the British School of Kuwait, and the French School are several of the
many prestigious private schools available to the Kuwaiti population.
education is not wholly funded by the government, although it is generously subsidized.
The Kuwaiti government pours more than KD 5.6 million per annum into private educational
facilities in addition to allotting land for school construction and distributing
Unlike most co-ed private schools, Kuwaiti public
schools are segregated by sex beginning in the first grade. Women are granted
the same rights to education as men and the Ministry of Education has worked to
further the education of women through various programs such as a 1989 initiative
to establish daytime literacy clinics for women.
government ensures that each new school contains a library and has expanded the
collection of books in existing school libraries from 230,000 (before the Iraqi
invasion) to more than 3 million today. The government has also launched an “Education
Net” project to connect every government school and library in Kuwait to a telecommunications