Candidate calls for more laws that ‘respect people’
Aseri focuses on civil law, youth, women’s rights
Dr Ghadeer Aseri is a candidate from the first constituency, running in the elections for the first time. Social policy and education reform motivated her to stand. “I thought that I could best improve our community from the parliament, which is the legislative power, as the society can be changed by changing the laws. We should have laws that respect people. I want to give more chances to voters to have more options to choose from,” Aseri told Kuwait Times.
Aseri has three major issues in her sight that she wants to work on if she enters parliament: Changing the civil law, youth and women’s rights.
“I aim to resolve the problems of young people by improving education and changing policies. I can change the community through education and also change the attitude of individuals. I have longterm plans, as I don’t aim to effect change in just the four years when I will be an MP, but to set a law to change the community over the next 20 or 30 years.
“This is related to civil law. Some people think the current civil law is suitable for the present time, but I think I can change the attitudes of generations through education. I aim to change the curriculum, the system of education and the quality of teachers. Many Kuwaitis enroll their children in private schools, as they believe they should invest in their children. They realize how important education is for the future of their kids. Today, children play with tablets and smartphones, which are considered as their toys. This is globalization and we have to move with it, and I will fix some policies to match this development.
“Today they let the student study, sit for the exam and get full marks, which is the traditional system of rote learning. We don’t have a curriculum that makes the student ask questions. We should have a curriculum based on the philosophy of asking ‘why’. We should have a curriculum of an international level. I noticed there is a problem in our curriculum. When our students - who are excellent and achieved full marks - travel to study in the UK, for instance, they only manage to attain a level of 80 percent in tests there. This means there is something wrong in our curriculum, and it needs to be developed. We have to scale up by 130 or 150 percent to be on the same level of Western universities.
“I also aim to establish more public universities in Kuwait. These should provide professional diplomas, and people of any age should be allowed to study there. It would be great if there were education loans too. I intend to set policies that allow citizens to continue their studies and systematically learn, and not just obtain a degree. I want to add ethics to the curriculum, so children will learn from an early age to avoid many bad behaviors, such as ‘wasta’.
“I believe that even if not all students in the class adopt what they are taught in school, the majority will do so. And they will bring about a revolution in the future to fight the bad behaviors that they learn in the home, school or work environments. Take my example - I don’t use wasta as I was taught at universities in the UK and US that this is not ethical. “The quality of teachers is one of the basic pillars that needs to be changed. The government employs many teachers from abroad, but they are not of the satisfactory quality we need. Many of them speak with accents that our kids can’t understand. Also, as they don’t have the best qualifications, students have to take private tuitions. If we invest a little more to bring in native English teachers, for instance, they won’t have to pay for extra tuitions.”
“The Kuwaiti woman is oppressed and I aim to change this and let her get her rights to be equal with men. She should get the same financial rights including rent allowance, child allowance, equal salary, housing loan and other rights. A woman is not allowed to issue official documents for her children, and I want to correct this.”
“I am against any kind of discrimination. I lived in the UK and I got the same medical treatment as British citizens, so I know that expats here should receive same the treatment, especially in healthcare and education. The existence of expats here is not a problem - we need them as we don’t have Kuwaitis to work in all fields. Maybe we need a modification in their numbers. “I guess that changes in education will solve a great part of this problem. Our problem is in the system. In the past, some professions were not deemed acceptable by Kuwaitis, such as makeup artists, designers and others, while today many Kuwaitis run their own small businesses and even serve customers.”
“Citizens should vote to avoid letting the wrong candidates reach the parliament. The same thing happened in the past when many people refrained from voting, and the MPs who won approved bad laws such as gender discrimination in education. I’m even worried that they may demand shutting down the newly-opened opera house, claiming it is haram. People will then question them, but this was the result of not voting and allowing Islamists to reach the parliament. They may also enforce the wearing of the hijab for female students, as they have now approved it for intermediate schools,” Aseri warned.
KUWAIT: First constituency candidate Dr Ghadeer Aseri speaks to Kuwait Times.