Article 1 of the 2014 Regulating Information and Communication Technologies Law No. 37 defines the following terms:
Information Technology: Creating, processing, storing, transferring or retrieving, using or availing information to others through the use of electronic means. This includes audio information as well as audio and video data.
Communications: Every sending, transmitting, disseminating, publishing, or receiving of marks, signals, or transcribed material, images, movies, sounds or information of whatever nature by wire, radio, photic, or any other electronic system means.
Communication Devices: Any devices, tools, means, or wire/wireless telecommunication systems used or are intended to be used for telecommunication purposes and are part of a telecommunication network linked thereto or within its components. That includes local and international radio communication devices.
However, it does not define “Education Technology”.
The web glossary of the Kuwait Communication & Information Technology Authority ('CITRA') defines the following terms:
e-learning: Electronic learning is the use of Internet technology for learning outside of the classroom. Elearning suites are software solutions that enable automation, administration and training over the Internet. Elearning suites are integrated product collections that comprise learning management systems (LMSs), virtual classrooms, courseware and learning content management systems (LCMSs). An LMS is a software that automates the training process and function and includes registration and administration tools, skills and records management, courseware access, and programming interfaces to packaged applications.
m-Learning: Mobile learning is the use of a mobile device to access and study learning materials and for communicating with the institution, tutors and fellow students.
Constitution and laws: Article 13, 14, and 40 of the 1962 Constitution states that education is the foundation of social advancement; therefore, the state guarantees its delivery and its supervision. The text addresses several situations concerning education and State responsibility. Education has the right of Kuwaitis and the responsibility of the State to ensure this right in accordance with the law, which means that the State can determine its responsibility in accordance with the law. The text clearly states that education is compulsory in the early stages in accordance with the law.
The Ministry of Education website affirms that according to Article 1 of the 1965 Education Act No. 11, Education is compulsory and free of charge for all Kuwaiti male and female children from the beginning of primary school to the middle level. The State is committed to providing school buildings, books, teachers and all that ensures the success of compulsory education from human and material strength. Though nothing specific was mentioned regarding technology in education.
The 2014 Regulating Information and Communication Technologies Law No. 37 launched the Communication & Information Technology Authority ('CITRA') to regulate, develop, supervise and monitor the telecommunication and IT sectors through investments and technology advancements. Though nothing specific was mentioned regarding education.
Policies, plans and strategies: First launched in 2010, the Kuwaiti government unveiled the 2035 Vision that was later revived in 2017 as the “New Kuwait” 2035 Vision in order to modernize and digitalize its economy and become a smart commercial hub in the region. The pillars of the vision include: 1) Effective Public administration; 2) Diversified Economy; 3) Infrastructure which focuses on digital development; 4) Sustainable living envrionement; 5) High quality healthcare; 6) Human capital; and 7) Global/international positioning.
The 2021-2025 World Bank Country Engagement Framework states that the seven pillars of the Vision are realized through five-year national plans referred to as the “Kuwait National Development Plans” (KNDP). The first KNDP for 2010-2015 focused on legislative activities, the second on infrastructure (2015-2020), the third 2020-2025 private sector engagement, the fourth KNDP will focus on the knowledge economy (2025-2030) “Equip the people with the skills and incentives for future growth”, and the fifth KNDP will focus on transitioning toward smart Kuwait (2030-2035).
The 2015/2016 - 2019/2020 Kuwait National Mid-range Development Plan states that the Education and human capital pillar “involves reforming the education system in order better prepare youth to become competitive and productive members of the workforce, as well as improving the efficiency of education spending. The development of Kuwait’s people through education and human capital improvement will be a key driver of achieving the vision and overcoming challenges”. As for the Infrastructure pillar “involves developing and modernizing the national infrastructure to develop and improve the country’s information and communication technology (ICT), transportation, logistics and trade, and electricity production and transmission”. However, the document does not refer to ICT in education.
In 2010, the National Centre for Education Development was established as an independent national centre by the State of Kuwait to create an effective educational system though nothing is mentioned in regards to e-learning.
The 2017-2018 Annual Development Plan supports Kuwait's vision and it stresses the importance of education and technology but in separate instances.
The 2019 Kuwait Voluntary National Review report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda mentions that the Ministry of Education (MOE) worked on revisiting school curricula, enhancing the school environment and improving school administrations’ competencies to better use computers and IT during the teaching process.
The 2019 Kuwait Public Policy Center (KPPC) Research Agenda for the Human Capital Pillar includes future research areas that can help develop a policy framework that will enhance and inform the government on how to maximize the use of new technologies in the education sector.
Digital competency frameworks: The 2013 Reference Framework of the Ministry of Education's Programme for the Development of the Educational System in Kuwait states that technological integration in the education system and curriculum is essential for its development.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: According to the UNESCO Global monitoring of school closures caused by COVID-19, schools were closed completely as of March 2020 and only partially opened from October 2022 till January 2022. Schools were fully opened on March 2022.
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: The Ministry of Electricity and Water published the 2013 Regulations for electrical installation and the 2014 General Specification for Electrical Installation applicable to all electrical installations in buildings, structures and premises in the State of Kuwait including schools to ensure access, safety, and availability to the users.
Computers and devices: No policy was found in regard to computers and devices.
Internet connectivity: Article 21 of the 2014 Regulating Information and Communication Technologies Law No. 37 sates that “CITRA may decide to establish, operate, and manage public telecommunication networks, offer the public telecommunication service, international access platform, or international access networks, land telecommunication structure, or land telecommunication service that rely on the State's scarce resources (frequencies and digitization), and fiber optics throughout the country or part of it.”. Article 3 states “ CITREA operates on international telecommunication structure which is “The infrastructure that provides the possibility of international accessibility across the State of Kuwait borders. It includes the marine cables, satellites and other terrestrial systems or any invented systems crossing the borders of Kuwait.”
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
The MOE Youtube channel was created before Covid-19 to support students in their access to classes.
In response to COVID-19, Drbni Platform (“Train me – in Arabic”) was designed to meet the training needs of all workers in the education field in collaboration with the Technosoft team to facilitate distance training and create a training environment that provides many learning resources. The objectives of the Platform were to develop the knowledge and skills of all educational personnel whether in educational, supervisory or administrative.
Drbni Platform provides training for school students on distance learning.
Though no information was found on initial training in technologies, the in-service training operates through the Drbni Platform and is specifically provided by the Technosoft Project, launched in the academic year 2018/2019, to train and develop teachers' skills and performance in technology and distance education.
2.4.1. Data privacy
The 2021 Data Privacy Protection Regulation No.42 sets out detailed guidelines for the collection, storage, processing, and transfer of data by the private and public sectors. Though it does not specifically mention schools.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
Article 3 of 2015 Combating Cyber Crimes Law No. 63 considers it a crime when a person uses the information network to threaten or extort a natural or legal person, to induce him to do or refrain from doing an act and a violation when there is a threat that is deemed to be an infringement of a person's dignity, honour or reputation. Though it does not specifically mention schools.
CITRA’s Protecting Children from Internet Dangers document advises parents to provide special search engines when their children use computers for school work.
The Ministry of Education aims to interact with the challenges of the future and to follow up on the scientific revolution by supporting and developing schools and their technological progress. The MOE also develops educational and educational plans, policies, projects and programmes for the implementation of these plans and follow-up mechanisms within the framework of the State's development strategy and its public policies.
CITRA oversees and regulates the Information Technology sector in public bodies.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) regulation #6889 states students' mobile devices and smart watches are not allowed inside any school in Kuwait.