Chemical Education in Asia-Pacific


Yousuf Yacoub Al-Sultan
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and Member of Board, Kuwait Chemical Society

Najat Al-Shatti
Chemistry Department University

Salwa Abdulla Al-Jassar
Curricula Department, Ministry of Education

  • 2.1. Admission Regulations of Kuwait University
  • 2.2. Department of Chemistry (Kuwait University)
  • 3.1. Intermediate and Secandary Stages
  • 3.2. High School
  • 4.1. Membership
  • 4.2. Members Meetings
  • 4.3. Books
  • 4.4. Bi-Monthly Journal
  • 4.5. Conferences Workshops and Lectures
  • 4.6. Conferences and Workshops
  • 4.7. Lectures
  • 4.8. Television Programmes
  • 4.9. Chemical Hazardous Data-Bank
  • 4.10. Study
  • 4.11. Contacts and Collaborations with other bodies
  • Figure and Tables
  • Suppliment

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    In the last few decades the world has sectors and trends of life as well as the human being him and herself, this progress has also effected directly and indirectly, or in one way or another the life and surrounding of animals, plants and other constituents of living. Undoubtedly this development is attributed to several, if not, all branches of sciences, notwithstanding, the various fields of chemistry are considered the main contributors for such progress.

    Due to the prime contributions of chemistry and the role its plays in the scientific and technological development, countries, particularly those who have endowed universities in their homelands have tended to assure the establishment of well and sophisticated colleges, and specifically college of sciences which nurture chemistry departments.

    Kuwait as an oil producing country has endowed and planned her resources to assure the execution and attainment of her socio-economic development plans and has followed the most advanced development model in doing so. To assure such achievement, decision and policy-makers have promulgated several laws and legislation and have reacted several in infrastructures and institutions to support and pivot the development plans.

    In this study, we aim to narrate and evaluate the teaching and utilisation of chemistry in pre-university education, university education and public society to realise the extent of introducing and using chemistry in these establishments which are regarded as prime corner stones in the education processes in Kuwait.

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    Kuwait university, as any well established university in the world, is faced with the task of utilising the outputs of knowledge, scientific and civilisation heritage, the development of manpower-by promoting its activities and standards of participating-in serving and developing the society as follows:


    By promotion of mental, spiritual, moral and athletic standards of youth.

    As partaker in social, economic and cultural development of the society.

    By enhancement of cultural and educational liaisons between the university and national and foreign states.

    The above ambitions could by achieved by and through:

    Preparation and supplying of cadres in all the scientific and technical sectors of the society.

    Follow-up of technical progress in all branches of knowledge and to participate in such progress via scientific research as a means to expand the scope of human lore to solve the societal obstacles and to develop it economically, socially and culturally.

    Kuwait university encompasses various colleges, amongst which is college of sciences that nurture several department, amongst which is the chemistry department.

    2.1. Admission Regulations of Kuwait University

    The university of Kuwait as any matured and well established university has stipulated several criteria and conditions for admittance to assure and maintain standards of excellence within eligible students. The following are the stipulated conditions of acceptance (Kuwait University, Deanery of Acceptance and Registration:

    Admission is offered only for students holding high school degree for prior year or at most the year before.

    Students must be devoted as a full time student. Nevertheless, the university might allow students to engaged in programmes offered by the university.

    Colleges of Education, Law and Departments of social work and media (college of Arts) stipulated personnel interviews with applicants.

    College of Administrative sciences required that applicants pass English Language test.

    College of Engineering and petroleum stipulated that applicants pass English Language and mathematics tests.

    College of Medicine necessitate that applicants pass English Language and comprehensive science test in addition to personnel interviews.

    2.2. Department of Chemistry (Kuwait University)

    The Department offers compulsory, elective and other courses to various colleges in the university. The courses are designed, and references (text books, software, etc) are selected in accordance with the best standards being offered elsewhere in the world. The following is a brief descriptions of these courses:


    A) 100 Level

    Chem. 101 - General Chemistry 1
    Chem. 102 - General Chemistry II
    Chem. 105 - General Chemistry Lab. I.
    Chem. 106 - General Chemistry Lab. II

    B) 200 Level

    Chem. 214 - Chemical Thermodynamics (Physical Chemistry I) Theoretical and Practical
    Chem. 215 - Kinetics and Electrochemistry Theoretical and Practical
    Chem. 233 - Chemical Bonding and Chemistry of Nontransition Elements
    Chem. 235 - Analytical Chemistry Theoretical and Practical
    Chem. 255 - Organic Chemistry II
    Chem. 256 - Organic Chemistry I
    Chem. 257 - Organic Chemistry (Practical)

    C) 300 Level

    Chem. 316 - Molecular Structure and Properties Theoretical and Practical
    Chem. 336 - Coordination Compounds and the Chemistry of Transition Elements
    Chem. 337 - Analytical Chemistry II Theoretical and Practical
    Chem. 338 - Practical Inorganic Chemistry
    Chem. 355 - Organic Chemistry III Theoretical and Practical


    Chem. 400 - Advanced nuclear and Radiochemistry
    Chem. 425 - Metallic Corrosion and its prevention
    Chem. 426 - Physical Chemistry
    Chem. 427 - Introduction to Chemical Statistics and Dynamics
    Chem. 428 - Valance Bond Theory
    Chem. 440 - Coordination Compounds and Organometallic Chemistry
    Chem. 443 - Advanced Techniques in Inorganic Chemistry
    Chem. 444 - Solid State Chemistry
    Chem. 446 - Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms
    Chem. 451 - Petroleum Chemistry and Petrochemicals Theoretical and Practical
    Chem. 452 - Applied Organic Spectroscopy
    Chem. 453 - Applied Organic Chemistry Theoretical and Practical
    Chem. 455 - Organic Chemistry (Natural Products)
    Chem. 457 - Organic Photochemistry
    Chem. 459 - Introduction to Physical Organic Chemistry

    Chem. 498 - Library Search and Seminar

    A selected topic by the faculty member is assigned to the student after being approved by the related division.

    The student prepares the manuscript of the report with the available information from the library using the instructive guideline of the Journal of the Royal Chemical Society (Perkins and Dalton's transactions).

    The extent to which the course objectives are achieved will be assessed by the student's supervisor and a two-member reviewing committee after presenting his/her seminar, using specially designed evaluation forms.

    The final rating only the supervisor and the two-member reviewing committee should be responsible.

    Chem. 499 - Practical Research Project

    The student will select a practical research project under the supervision of a staff member. He should spend at least 9 hours/week semester in practical research work. The student should write a report on the results obtained to his supervisor.


    The Department also offers other courses as follows:

    A) For Medical Allied Health, Biology and Geology Students.

    Chem. 113 - General Chemistry Theoretical and Practical
    Chem. 114 - Organic Chemistry for Pre-Medical and Biology Students. Theoretical and Practical

    B) For Biochemistry Students.

    Chem. 216 - Physical Chemistry for Biology Students

    C) For Chemical Engineering Students.

    Chem. 213 - Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics/Kinetics Theoretical and Practical
    Chem. 234 - Analytical Chemistry Theoretical and Practical
    Chem. 269 - Organic Chemistry for Chemical Engineering Students Theoretical and Practical

    The Department offers two elective courses for non-Chemists students:

    Chem. 200 - Environmental Chemistry
    Chem. 204 - Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry

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    Modern countries always endeavour to cope with the current international scientific development, believing that it's for the benefit of school students to step-on a solid base of concepts and scientific skills.

    To achieve this goal, science is considered as one of the main subjects among school curricula in general education.

    Teaching methodology now is basically concentrated on learners, in order to help them direct their activities and use their motivation towards learning, which leads to success.

    Chemistry is very special among the other branches of science, it's known with its chemical expressions and symbols.

    The schemes of the chemistry objectives have been developed in the light of the general objectives of education in Kuwait as planned and executed by the ministry of education, which can be summed up as follows:

    "To provide suitable opportunities for helping individuals to develop spiritually, morally, intellectually, socially and physically to the extent their potentials permit, in the light of the Kuwait society nature, its philosophy, and aspirations, and in the light of the principles of Islam, Arab heritage and the contemporary culture in such a way so as preparation for constructive participation in the development of Kuwait society in particular and the Arab and international society in general".

    science objectives, as well as chemistry, have been developed as to be a reflection of the general objectives of education in Kuwait. They are also a means of diverting facts and concepts into goals in education system.

    To achieve these objectives, the ministry of education has reserved enough studying hours for learning science at schools, starting from the primary stage to the secondary stage.

    The development of science teaching in Kuwait is a basic aim for the individual's life, which help him develop the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains in an integrative way, which is very important in biology, physics and geology.

    Integration, being the main entrance of knowledge, is the approach which the concepts and skills of science curriculum were built upon, in both the primary and the intermediate stage.

    (Integration is a method which helps students to face the problems in a prevalent way).

    The science curriculum, in both the primary and the intermediate stages was built - up to include the scientific concepts of all science sectors. Physics, chemistry, biology and geology, and to support learners with prevalent scientific knowledge based on integration.

    The secondary stage, differently, is considered a preparation stage in which students learn how to correspond with the society. That's why it was necessary to separate the scientific sectors each with its own curriculum aiming at professioncies of each branch, its facts and scientific concepts. Chemistry, therefore, be came one of the basic subjects among science curricula in the secondary stage.

    Good learning is mainly based on the learners capacities and inclinations. The science syllabus designers, chemistry in particular, have taken into consideration the learners specifications as a base of building up a successful school curricula in all educational stage.

    The general objectives of education in Kuwait aimed to induce spiritual, psychological, social and physical growths in students in various stage of education.

    Furthermore, the general objectives of teaching science in general education in Kuwait were formulated to assist students to :

    The general objectives of teaching science in general education were designed to help learner to:

    Be aware of Muslim - Arab scientists achievements and show full respect to their work

    Chemistry is actually taught in the schools of Kuwait in order to achieve the following goals:

    To provide learners with enough knowledge about the chemical concepts, which unable them to solve problems, and to be a positive members who have the ability of building-up their own society economically, scientifically and culturally, and as a result to develop human civilization.

    To provide learner with a full preparation which enables him to continue his universal studies in different scientific sectors.

    To provide learner with information which unable him to be aware of the Arab ancestors part in developing chemistry and establishing human civilization.

    To help learner to acquire a convenient amount of chemical information and experiences in a functional way, which enables him to be scientifically cultured and be a ware of some local chemical products.

    To bring-up an Arab generation who shows values and admirable attitudes and behaviours, such as: A full appreciation of the greatness of God, a full respect of science and scientists, a full desire towards work, co-operation....etc.

    To give learner the opportunity of acquiring suitable scientific skills, such as: Analysation practising experiments, learning accuracy in observation, finding out conclusions answering exercises and equations, using books, references and scientific magazines.

    To help learner find out his own real scientific inclination and get suitable opportunities to feel satisfied.

    3.1. Intermediate and Secandary Stages

    Chemistry is mainly taught in the three stages of the general education in Kuwait. In both the primary and the intermediate stages it is actually taught through teaching general science (integration curriculum). But in the secondary stage it's separately taught as a major subject. This division maintains to treat the specific abilities of learners.

    Teaching chemistry in the intermediate stage starts in away of separated teaching units, it is as well for the first form secondary. The syllabuses of chemistry in the four forms intermediate and the first form secondary are as follows:

    Grade Six:

    Unit (4): Properties of Matter.

    Grade Seven:

    Unit (4): Matter. Changes.

    Grade Eight:

    Unit (2): Matter. Structure.

    Grade Nine:

    Unit (2): Man Exploits the Permanent Resources of Earth.
    Unit (3): Man Exploits the Renewable Resources of Earth.
    Unit (4): Man Exploits the Non - Renewable Resources of Earth.

    Teaching chemistry as a major subject starts by the second form secondary until the fourth form secondary (science), but with different number of periods per week.

    The following scheme of study clarifies the number of periods for each form:

    Form Number of Periods Weekly Number of Periods Yearly
    Second form Secondary



    Third form Secondary (Science)



    Forth form Secondary (Science)



    The syllabus of chemistry in secondary stage is as follows:

    Grade Ten:

  • Unit (1): Structure of Matter.
  • Unit (2): The Structure of Atoms, the Periodic Law of Elements.
  • Unit (3): The Chemical Compounds.
  • Unit (4): Chemistry of the Elements.
  • Grade Eleven:

  • Unit (1): Gases - Calculation from Equation - Liquids.
  • Unit (2): Therms and Kinetics Chemistry.
  • Unit (3): Chemical Equilibrium.
  • Unit (4): Acids and Bases.
  • Unit (5): Organic Chemistry.
  • Grade Twelve:

  • Unit (1): Chemical Equilibrium.
  • Unit (2): Descriptive & Quantitative Chemistry.
  • Unit (3): Oxidation - Reduction.
  • Unit (4): Energy and Chemical Reactions.
  • Unit (5): Methods of Extracting Metals.
  • Unit (6): Chemical Industry.
  • In the credit system, which is a part of the secondary stage, chemistry is taught in three curricula, two of them are compulsory course No., (55 , 65) and the third is voluntary course No., (88).

    Studying hours for each is 5 hours weekly, 75 hours for the whole course.

    There syllabuses are as follows:

    Chemistry (1) Course No.,(55):

    Chemistry (2) Course No., (65).

    Chemistry (3) Course No., (88).

    3.2. High School

    In Gradeone of the high school education no Chemistry courses are given. Per Section never the less some chemical subjects are taught (in Arabic) with in the Science class as follows:

    1. Natural and industrial or chemical fertilisers.
    2. Types of elements and compounds such as:
    3. Methods to extract and purifying elements from cores are discussed.
    4. Comparisons of types of iron are portrayed.
    5. Cement and class industries are discussed.
    6. Fractional distillation of oil and compositions of various phases of distillates have been discussed.
    7. Air Water and solid pollution and compositions of pollutants are illustrated.

    In Grade two, Chemistry is taught in Arabic. The book consists of the following topics:

    As for Grade Three (first year of science major), the following themes are taught in Arabic.

    For the Forth Grade (Second Year of Science Major) The following topics are taught in Arabic:

    The ministry of education is the source where science books are designed. these books includes (teacher's book, pupil's book and practical exercise book).

    Science books contain a group of educational activities which emphasizes the scientific side. Students are given the chance to do many experiments which train them to the chemical skills. Scientific experiment has been developed to be a subject of evaluating students.

    Scientific labs are available in all the schools of Kuwait, provided by all the facilities which help students to practise laboratory work, such as teaching aids, experiment equipment and means of safety. Besides there are many laboratory assistants to work by the side of science teachers and help in preparing for experiments.

    The ministry of education in Kuwait presents an annual science competition in chemistry for students in secondary stage, in order to encourage the excellent students to practise researching and projects.

    Since 1983, and yearly, Kuwait has had a part in the Annual International Olympic competition for chemistry.

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    The endowment, supports of scientific societies and their involvement in socio-economic development in plans have been established and practised in several countries over a century of time. The role of these societies could be envisaged as follows:

    Kuwait, as a developing country pacing strivingly to achieve highest standards of socio-economic status has encourage the endowment and support of several and diversified societies, amongst which is the chemical society.

    The Kuwait chemical society was founded in 1982 and was charged with the following objectives (Statutory Act):

    Nurturing occupational interests, and development of scientific standards and capabilities of members in various fields of chemistry.

    Linking the Kuwaiti society with the society through seminars, media awareness, etc.

    Studying the occupational status of chemists in various fields in the country in order to suggest the best occupational environments and standards.

    Developing and enhancing the society's activities and outputs to be in excellent standards comparing to Arab and international sister societies.

    Exercise all means to develop Arabic Language to be the mean and the language for science and technology in Arab world via publications, translation sister Arab societies and other concerned bodies.

    Initiate and enhance linkage with sister Arab and foreign societies and seek the exchange of experts and scientific outputs.

    Emphasizing the role of Arab chemists throughout the history via several means.

    The society has a current membership of all chemists.

    4.1. Membership

    Membership is opened for Kuwaitis (and non-Kuwaitis to a certain extent), providing that:

    1) Active Members:

    Granting to Kuwaitis holding B. Sc., or equivalent or higher degree in chemistry.

    2) Joining Members:

    Granting to Kuwaitis holding degree less than B. Sc., in chemistry and for non-Kuwaitis holding B. Sc., or higher degree in chemistry.

    3) Honorary Members:

    Endowing to any person contributed to the objectives of the society.

    The following are the major activities executed by the society (Kuwaiti chemical society):

    4.2. Members Meetings

    The society organize annual general ordinary and non-ordinary meetings to allow for members, to review, assess, criticize society's activities and performance, to suggest new or modifying existing activities and approve (or disapprove) society's annual administrative and financial reports. The meetings are wittenessed by representative of the ministry of social affairs which is concerned and responsible for public interests societies in Kuwait. Also a representative from an accounting bureau is attending.

    4.3. Books

    The society has participated and sponsored the publication of the following books:

    4.4. Bi-Monthly Journal

    The society has been publishing a bi-monthly non-refereed journal titled journal of the Kuwaiti chemical society in Arabic language to provide specialists and those who are working in various fields in chemistry in different sectors and mode of production in Kuwait and the Arab states with diversified matters, issues, news, etc., in all aspects of chemistry. Furthermore, the journal announces on symposia, conferences, interviews, review of articles, etc., in the fields of chemistry, particularly informing the members and other interesting persons and concerns parties about the chemical data-bank which is located in the society. The average number of pages for each issues is 50.

    4.5. Conferences Workshops and Lectures

    Delegations & Representing the society have been attending major meeting dealing with chemistry and chemical issues throughout the world, in addition to embracing, sponsoring, and organizing meetings, workshops and lectures in Kuwait.

    4.6. Conferences and Workshops

    4.7. Lectures

    Environmental pollution in Kuwait due to the Iraqi transfer to the Arab world: Principles and impediments.

    4.8. Television Programmes

    The society has, through a board member, edited and presented, in two consecutive years, two set of weakly programmes entitled "scientific issues and disputes", which discussed various scientific issues pertaining to Kuwait socio-economic development such as:

    4.9. Chemical Hazardous Data-Bank

    The society has established within its premises a computerized data bank consisting of name of major hazardous chemicals, their properties, formula, etc., impacts, health and environmental hazardous induced by their exposures and mode of control and recovery.

    4.10. Study

    The society has sponsored (financially and by participation of board number) a study to elaborate of status of chemists working in various fields and activities in Kuwait and modes to develop, protect and upgrade their wellbeing.

    4.11. Contacts and Collaborations with other bodies

    The society has initiated several links with governmental, private and public bodies to participate with and contribute to their activities.

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    In-service training programs have been-and still the prime concern of the Ministry of Education, in the state of Kuwait. This interest in teacher training aims at upgrading the standards of achievements of the students, through the updating of teacher's techniques and teaching methods.

    In addition to the distinctive role of the teachers in the field of education, the Ministry spares no effort in developing the teachers skills by providing them with the latest trends and world's researchers in teaching technologies.

    Thus; the in-service teacher training programs, for teachers of Science, in Kuwait aims at the followings:-

    1. The acquisition of various skills and methods of demonstrating the lessons.
    2. Developing positive attitude towards teaching; as a profession.
    3. Contributing in, and enriching the school services programs by co-operating with teachers of other school subjects.
    4. Participating in CO-curriculum school activities.
    5. Highlighting the teachers roles in school services programs.
    6. Co-operating with the school administration and heads of departments in solving daily problems in their schools.
    7. Contributing in developing school utilities for the best use and Usage.
    8. Allow teachers to participate in building school curriculum, with its different skills.
    9. Developing their skills to relate school subjects to one another, vertically and horizontally.
    10. Applying the modern trends in teaching the school subject science with emphasis on the importance of this subject.
    11. Developing their skills in the best modern methods of measurements and evaluation of the students achievements.
    12. Perfecting the different methods of remediating the slow learners as well as the programs for the bright ones, as well.

    In order to achieve the pre mentioned; teachers training program included many techniques and methods to develop their efficiencies as teachers of Science, such as:-

    The use of modern technologies, in the training course, such as labs, workshops, Educational TV, analysing school situations, as well as micro Teaching.

    The introduction of researches, papers, and studies, mainly concerned with training teachers of science, in particular.

    Various items were introduced in the content of the training program.

    The philosophy of the in-service training program depends on a clear policy; to redevelop the professional efficiency of the teachers of science, and the continuos training of such teachers, in order to achieve a constant updating of the educational system, as the teacher in the main tool in this system.

    The teacher is taken due care of by the technical supervision; which is the main responsible body, catering for them, by means of field visits, mutual co-operation, guidance and help. These efforts exerted by the supervisors strengthen the relations between the head of the departments and the school headmasters/headmistresses, in order to achieve the best development in the teachers performance.

    The efficiency model, for the teachers of science, is a mean of measuring the teachers performances, in order to show them both the positive and negative sides of their efforts, to identify each, and with the help of the teacher training program, the teachers performance can be bettered.

    The State of Kuwait is adopting a continued plan, for teachers development through inservice training courses, in conjunction with and continuation of the outputs of the educational college's main programs for teacher preparation and development.

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    Figure and Tables

    Figure 1. Education system in Kuwait

    Table 1. Curriculum for Primary School (Number of classes per week)

    Table 2. Curriculum for Intermediate (Middle) School (Number of classes per week)

    Table 3. Curriculum for High School (Number of classes per week)

    Table 4. Kuwait Chemists Graduation From Kuwait University (1980-1995)


    1. Kuwaiti chemical society annual general assembly reports. In Arabic
    2. Kuwait university, deanery of acceptance and registration. Acceptance guidance 1996/1997.
    3. Kuwait university printing office. Undated. pp. 37-9. In Arabic.
    4. Statutory act of the Kuwait chemical society. Al-Salam printing, Kuwait. Undated. In Arabic.


    The Authors gratefully an knowledge the assistance and support given during the preparation of this paper to the distinguished:

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