x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Abandoned women and scrapping foundation year at universities on FNC agenda

Debate on scrapping foundation year at state universities and the situations of abandoned women in the UAE will resume on Tuesday at the Federal National Council.

ABU DHABI // Discussions on scrapping foundation year at state universities and the situations of abandoned women will resume on Tuesday at the Federal National Council.

The questions were held over from last month, when ministers who were to be questioned did not appear.

The first set of questions will be directed to Mariam Al Roumi, Minister of Social Affairs, who will be asked about the rise in the number of cases of women being abandoned by their husbands.

Mosabeh Al Kitbi (Sharjah) said women feared seeking Government aid. Typically, divorced women receive Dh4,000 a month from the Government while abandoned women receive Dh3,000.

He added that the ministry should liaise with the Ministry of Justice to present husbands with an ultimatum of either resolving disputes and returning to their wives, or divorcing them.

Hamad Al Rahoomi (Dubai) will also question Ms Al Roumi, calling for Government centres for Emiratis with extreme disabilities and autism while Salim Al Ameri (Abu Dhabi) will call for a greater number of Government nurseries.

Marwan bin Ghalita (Dubai) will seek answers about the long delay in approving bylaws for a piece of legislation passed months ago by the President, Sheikh Khalifa, guaranteeing rights for children with unknown parentage.

The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak, will also attend the session.

Ali Al Nuaimi (Ajman) plans to question him about the Cabinet’s decision to abolish first year at universities, known as the foundation year.

Mr Al Nuaimi said he would ask for a specific time frame for the changes, which would lower the financial burdens on universities.

A previously delayed debate on scientific research will be held during the second part of the session, with members discussing the research budget, which was just 0.2 per cent of the overall budget in 2012, considered very low.

As well as calling for more money, members will seek to reduce teaching time for university professors, allowing them more time for research.

The public session will be held at the FNC headquarters in Abu Dhabi, starting at 9am.

osalem@thenational.ae