Kuwait's government has no plan to reject a proposal by lawmakers to increase grants for university students, the local media have reported.
The MPs last week voted a bill to raise the Kuwaiti students' monthly grants from KD100 ($363.6) to KD200 ($727). However, soon afterwards, the country was flooded with rumors that the cabinet would reject the proposal.
Kuwait Times newspaper, citing cabinet insiders it did not identify, said that the cabinet has no intention of stalling the passage of this legislation, but added that it does intend to open negotiations on another bill raising Kuwaiti public sector teachers' pay and bonuses. Under the new grants text, unmarried students will receive KD200 monthly while married students would be given KD350 ($1,272).
The parliamentary move was promptly hailed by university students.
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"University students will always remember who supported them and who stood against them," Khalid Al Mutairi, the secretary general of the Student Blocs Union, said. "They will know whom to vote for in the next elections."
In a press release issued on Tuesday, Al Mutairi said that Ahmad Al Mulaifi, the new education minister, should prove how progressive he is by approving the increase. "Increasing the allowance not only helps students financially, but also boosts their motivation to excel in their studies," he said.
Lawmaker Jamaan Al Harbish, one of the bill's supporters, said that increasing students' grants was a "very fair move, especially since living expenses continue to rise."
"Some parliamentarians and cabinet members argue that increasing the allowance to KD 200 is too much. We don't think it is," he said. "In fact, it is barely enough, especially when we take into consideration the fact that many students who work are not allowed to receive the government allowance. We will always be supportive of any decision that can improve the quality of educations for young people."
In 2009, the cabinet issued legislation that barred students who work in the private sector from receiving the monthly government allowance.
Parliamentarians, student union members and activists criticised the decision, but the legislation remains unchanged, the newspaper reported.