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Headteachers and parents discuss admissions amid school place shortage

With a limited number of available school places, parents seek insight into how the admissions process works, and school heads weigh in on what they’re looking for. Continue Reading →

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Average school fees rise in Qatar as competition for places increases

According to the Supreme Education Council’s annual report, there is a wide disparity in teacher turnover rates, hours of instruction and tuition costs at independent schools and private schools. Continue Reading →

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Some private schools close admissions early after class size crackdown

The move follows a Supreme Education Council circular reminding schools to keep classrooms capped at 30 students, and comes at a time when Qatar’s secondary education system struggles rising demand. Continue Reading →

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Shifting school break schedules continue to cause uncertainty in Doha

The Supreme Education Council’s attempt to unify school calendars for both independent and privately run schools continues to cause confusion, just weeks before the mid-term break begins. Continue Reading →

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Qatar’s education system grapples with language challenges

Students struggle with changes in curriculum from Arabic to English, and back again. Continue Reading →

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Parents express confusion over SEC’s extension of Eid break

School was originally slated to resume tomorrow, but many parents have been told the holiday has been extended until Monday. Continue Reading →

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Irate over tuition increases, some locals call for school boycott

Fed up with what they are calling a broken education system, a group of Qataris on Twitter are urging parents to keep their children home from school on Oct. 1. This week, supporters of the boycott have been tweeting on the hashtag #يوم_الأول_من_أكتوبر_لي_موقف (Oct. 1 – Will take a stand), gathering support from parents, teachers and controversial Qatari columnist Faisal Al Marzoqi. The tipping point appears to the Supreme Education Council’s approval of tuition increases for certain private schools this year. Continue Reading →

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Official: No do-over for thousands of students who failed secondary exams

Thousands of Qatari students who have recently failed their secondary exams will not have their tests reevaluated, Qatar’s Minister of Education and Higher Education told a crowd of dismayed parents last night. Addressing the dozens of adults who gathered at the SEC building to complain about the results, Dr. Mohammed Abdul Wahed Ali Al Hammadi said, according to Qatar Tribune:

“I know that parents are frustrated because of their children’s failure in the second round test, but there is always a next time.” Earlier this week, the SEC reported that some 12 percent – or 7,333 individuals – of fourth to eleventh graders failed the first phase of their exams, which were taken in early July. About 88 percent of those tested, or 52,077, passed. No nepotism
But almost 40 percent of students who sat for the second round of the General Secondary Certificate failed, the minister confirmed. Continue Reading →

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Qatar ramps up school building program to address shortage of places

In a bid to address an acute shortage of school places in Qatar, the government has announced plans to build 44 new schools and kindergartens over the next couple of years. The Public Works Authority, Ashghal, has made an ambitious pledge to finish construction of the 29 schools and 15 kindergartens by the end of 2014. 
Ashghal also said that it will complete 16 new schools and kindergartens in time for the beginning of the new school year this September. It’s clear that the government is keen to ease the school place shortage in both the state and private education sectors. At least two of these new sites have been allocated to private schools – one to new Spanish school SEK, and another to Doha College for a new campus in West Bay. Both of these new schools will open in two months’ time. Continue Reading →

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SEC requires Qatari children to start education at age of 3

All Qatari children will soon have to attend school from the age of three, the Peninsula reports. 
A two-year curriculum based on “learning through play” will be introduced for children from ages three-five in “kindergarten” sections of state-funded independent schools. Currently, Qatari primary education begins at age five. The Supreme Education Council (SEC) first introduced kindergartens in 2008, and there are currently 58 kindergartens operating in the public school system, with another ten planned to open this September. 
The SEC has laid down stringent rules about the facilities that each school must have - including a library, a music room and both an indoor and outdoor playground. 
The SEC says that it believes that starting early will give Qatari children the edge when it comes to language skills:

“Early education is based on the concept of learning through play. Psychologists have found that this is highly important for the development of children, especially their language skills. Once they become fluent in their first language, it will be easy for them to learn other languages”. 

The SEC’s Education and Training Sector Strategy 2011-2016 identifies the teaching of English in particular as one of its priorities, noting an “underachievement” in the area. Continue Reading →

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