As Qatar moves closer to adopting a new law governing nurseries here, managers of these businesses have told Doha News that they are still waiting to hear what changes are expected of them.
The new law, which was passed by the Cabinet last week and now awaits Emiri approval, has been in the works for years, but its passage has picked up speed following the death of 19 people in a children’s daycare in a fire at Villaggio mall last May.
Weeks after that tragedy, a series of new regulations were imposed on nurseries and kindergartens in Qatar, including a decree from the former Ministry of Social Affairs that all nurseries should operate only on the ground floor.
The rule was introduced quickly and prompted some short-notice closures and allegations of overcrowding in some nurseries, which found themselves short of space.
Details of the new nursery legislation have so far been sparse, with many nurseries confirming that they have heard nothing about it from the newly formed Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which regulates Qatar’s nurseries.
“We never really seem to get any information (about changes),” Maeve Galvin, manager of Apple Tree nurseries, told us. “Often, we don’t get anything in writing from the Ministry. I do think what they’re doing is good – it’s not the changes they’re making that are the problem, it’s the lack of communication. If we know in advance, we can make plans. Hopefully, this time we will get better information.”
Official information about the contents of the new law has been limited. So far, changes that have been announced include:
- A faster licensing process, that is expected to be more transparent;
- 15 new conditions for employing staff, which have yet to be disclosed; and
- A new provision that allows the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs to cancel a permit or close a nursery down for up to three months if rules are being broken.
The ministry declined to provide more details when we contacted them this morning.
However, the manager of one popular nursery, who asked to remain anonymous, explained some of the changes that the ministry discussed with her.
“I have been told that we will need to employ a Qatari manager, with a minimum salary of QR20,000 a month. That’s too much for us, and we have never had a Qatari national apply for a position at our nursery, so it will be very difficult to recruit one.”
The manager also said that she believed nurseries would be required to introduce an Arabic language/Quran component, would not be able to hire male staff and would not be allowed to accept children over the age of four years old.
“This means that children who turn four while they are at nursery may need to leave on their birthdays,” the manager said. “This will make it very difficult for working parents, who will find it very hard to find a school, as pre-school places are in short supply.”
Until more clarifications are known, nursery managers said their updates will continue to come from the press.
“We haven’t had any visits, or any formal notification of any kind,” Rana Nasir, owner and managing director of Treehouse Nursery, told Doha News. “We heard it on the news too.”
Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the new law was drafted before the Villaggio fire.
So the summary is, new laws to protect children, great. What those new laws are exactly and what they contain is known only to the Ministry themselves, not so great.
What I don’t understand is why would you need to introduce a Quran component for children at nurseries? That seems to be getting at children before they can reason for themselves. I also don’t agree that scaring under fours with visions of hell is the right thing to do, in fact that is pretty nasty.
Can you imagine the uproar if children under 4 were given lessons in Christianity? I assume that these new rules will apply to all children irrespective of their race or religion?
The nursery our daughter used to go to only taught the Muslim kids Quran, etc.
But will that be the case in the future? Is there provision in the new rules to differentiate between children from different religions?
whenever a new law or bill is made some prick always tries to attach things to it to further there own often unrelated agenda. nurseries shouldn’t be forced to introduce Quran components (wt ever that means) especially sense we already have plenty of more “islamic” nurseries
they introduce it to muslim children, and studies have shown that children in the developing ages from 1-4 have a greater chance in storing information faster than any other age thats the time to introduce a language/instrument/etc…
and can you rephrase your last comment “don’t agree that scaring…”?
So basically you are saying if you get children between the ages of 1-4 you have a greater chance of brainwashing them. Why not teach them about all religions and atheism and then let them decide which one they think is right or is it too much of a risk they will choose the wrong one?
hence the reason they’re teaching islam to muslim children… get it?
for atheist, christians, whatever they are to be educated at home.. letting them decide whether or not they want to become part of the islamic faith or others..
It is generally accepted that all the Abrahamist religions have the same God. The route to God just follows different paths , but they all travel to the same point. Children cannot make such a choice, so caring families and societies set them on the ‘right ‘path.
I have no issue with Islam being introduced in nurseries, at that age it is absorbed along with all the rest of the stories they are told. For non-Muslims, it may be a good thing to have some knowledge of another’s chosen pathway, it leads to understanding.
How does a parent of a Christian child know at birth that child should be baptised and wants to be Christian? Perhaps no person should be baptised before they can make that decision on their own. A child is not capable of making that decision on their own and it is up to the parents to educate them according to the values and beliefs of the family. If later in life that child decides the way they were raised is not for them then they can make that decision. I don’t think there is any parent out there who is teaching their preschoolers about all religions in the world in detail. A parent will always favour one way of thinking over another and present a biased view.
How can you tell when a baby is born whether it is muslim? I’m curious.
In islam muslim parents should teach the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and islam, you don’t guess you do…
No male instructional staff allowed? I would think having male role models for this age group would be super (though admittedly hard to find). And mandating a Qatari manager with a 20K salary? How about instead of trying to force companies to hire locals who don’t want to work in the private sector, you let these schools focus on hiring the best QUALIFIED people, with solid experience and backgrounds in early childhood education and development (regardless of nationality)?
i think they dont want male staff cus thats the only way they can think to avoid pedo’s being hired.
Because why else would a man want to go into early childhood education as a career, right?
I think this comes from that same Qatari handbook that says that couples only adopt good-looking children who are the same race as themselves…
hay i dont agree with it, im just saying thats probably what there thinking. if 95% of men working in this industry are fine ,then we stop 100% of them from working in nurseries to avoid the damage that sick 5% can do. i’m assuming thats probably whats going through there minds
No, I got that you weren’t saying that because you believed it was true. I was just being snarky and sarcastic because so much of what comes out of official channels here is so full of malarkey and antiquated perceptions.
That kind of thinking gives you 95% less potential and excellence. Punishing the majority for the crimes of the minority is, at best, short sighted.
dude relax i already said i dont agree with this but thats what i think they think, you preaching to the quire
Because men who want to work with children are automatic pedophiles. What about pediatricians? Because men do not value or love children or get involved in careers that better children unless they are pedophiles. Get a grip. That is about the least of the issues faced here. Females can also abuse children. It is about proper screening and supervision.
And then all the sudden when kids are 8 they can be taught by males?Why then? Are the kids too old for pedophiles at that point?
Seriously. Get a grip.
as stated above i already agree with what you said, i simply pointed out why i think they dont want to hire men. i say it again i do not agree with that particular law
I thought not having male teachers around made male students effeminate? Isn’t that what the SEC decided last year, when they fired female teachers at boys’ schools? I wish the rule makers would wrap their heads around what they think about gender and put out a logical statement of rules.
Could also be vice versa
Women abuse children too, and abuse is not limited to sexual perversion. This is speculation by the way, not an announcement or requirement.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about the Qatari Manager. If the tax for operating a nursery was 20K per month you just build that into your business plan. It is the same for everyone and you can pass the costs onto the parents.
My concern isn’t with the financial hit of hiring a Qatari manager; it’s more with forcing a nursery/school to employ someone in a position of authority who could likely be making bad decisions for the institution that aren’t grounded in educational theory or best practices (if they don’t have a background in education themselves). Managing a nursery/school isn’t a job that is purely business-related.
The solution is simple, find someone who wants 20K a month and tell them not to bother coming to work. You will find plenty of applicants here willing to do that.
As it is education costs a bomb in Qatar..if these costs are also passed on to the parents….it will be a struggle…the best thing to do would probably be some kind of additional tax rebate over and above the expense deduction so as to nullify the effect of this…let the Govt. take the burden of educating its people..y the expats?
There is no capital benefit unless the Qatari government would cover the cost. Possibly that could lead to a plethora of figurehead managers. Nurseries need to hire the best person for the job no matter the nationality.
Nurseries are for kids to socialize, play, learn to cooperate in the group, learn to be away from Mom and Dad without distress and get ready to go to school. And have fun! Studies prove the children best prepared for school are those whose parents read to them daily, converse with them, sing and teach them rhymes, etc.Parents have the right to put their children in a nursery with the langauge and teaching philosophy of their choice. It needs to be a safe, hygienic, nurturing environment. Beyond that it is a parents choice.
hey careful, you’re talking sense!
One more dumb law……with clauses that dont address the crux of the problem! Good point MIMH..
visions of hell! not what the children need…I just dont understand where these great law makers of Qatar think these up from?? Lets hope that there are atleast a few sensible clauses…
can you state why are the laws dumb?
I wouldn’t say the laws are dumb per say, but the geneiss of creating new nursery laws was to make nurseries safer. Imposing that nurseries employ a Qatari manager and impose religious teachings on non muslim children under 4, has nothing whatsoever to do with safety…
they arent imposing quran studies to non-muslims, the article or the woman is confused. and putting a Qatari manager is a strategic way to decline unemployment rate between female Qataris. I don’t know whats wrong in that…
Well, if non muslim parents can opt out of Quran studies then i guess it’s fine. We’ll have to wait and see what the result is. The point about the employment is that you may end up having to employ a Qatari female, just because she is Qatari, not necessarily because she is the right female for the job. It’s a fine balance.
I don’t understand why more Qataris are not more up in arms about so many of them being hired just to fulfill quotas. If it were me, I would be pissed off that I was hired so they could satisfy a requirement and not because they felt I had anything real to contribute to the organization. It’s rather demeaning and I would imagine it makes you feel pretty crappy to know that your employer and colleagues do not truly value you or your skills.
if you were unemployed I think you’d be thanking them, and whats up with all the drama of their skills you do know they take safety workshops before actually working officially.
and its a nursery in the end its not rocket science! as long as they are on task which is keeping the children safe, feeding, teaching, and cleaning them its all fine! its not a curriculum school that needs a degree of some sort its baby sitting!
and if it was rocket science then I would be pissed. why didn’t I get that job!
I think you have just lost your argument Qatari. In the UK to become a Nursery teacher you do need a degree, such as the importance of educating and teaching our young children. Just because the children are young, does not necessarily mean they are less valued and that teachers need to be less qualified. It’s certainly not a job that anyone can do just because they either have children of their own or are safety conscious. anyway, this is the good thing about this thread, it’s just opinion. i’ll leave it there.
on the contrary, in the UK 1 in 5 children between the age 5-3 cannot write their name, or read properly which is roughly 500,000 children give or take.. so how’s their degree working for you???
and I’m not saying we should underestimate the children but saying as long as they accomplish the workshop requirements in order for them to officially work, thats enough. And for Qatari children the fact that they are learning Quran and another language is enough since most nurseries teach in english but they speak the mother language at home. Developing memory skills by learning both the holy Quran and another language enhancing their speech skills.
The UK has a 99% literacy rate, and acheivement shared by Canada and the US. So they obviously catch up now don’t they?
yes the literacy rate of UK is 99% but from the ages 15+ finished at least highschool but I’m talking about the youth… go back to 2012 and read about the children who do not know how to read a proper word or write properly, they do catch up in the end dont take me wrong, but what is the point of the nursery qualification if they didnt even teach them how to do simple tasks. Our children alhamdulilah by the age of 2 can read and recite the quran by memory if taught to them in an early age. so your qualifications dont mean as much to our qualifications, because new studys prove that learning a language and reading and memorizing the Quran can strengthen reading and writing skills between children and adults.
First off, I seriously doubt that your children can READ the Quran at age two. Recite it — meaning they memorized it much like people learn the lyrics to songs they hear on the radio over and over, again and again — perhaps. But that is no different than teaching a parrot to imitate what you say. And if memorizing the Quran at an early age had such a profound effect on students’ future reading and writing skills, then the Islamic countries should be leading the world on international educational assessments in those areas. But they’re not. They’re pretty much near the bottom.
Working with children requires understanding how both their physiology and psychology works. It’s understanding what stage of development they’re in so you can figure out the best approach to use. It’s about providing understanding and discipline, role modeling and mentoring. It’s SO much more than what you dismissively depict it as…
So I get offended when people like you make educators (of ANY age group, but here we’re talking about early childhood educators) out to be nothing more than glorified babysitters. You’re right — it’s not rocket science. It’s a helluva lot more important and a lot harder than that. Ask anyone who has ever taught in a classroom.
they should be leading the world however they aren’t because they aren’t learning the Quran at an early age see? and if they did they would be.
I agree with all of the above thats why they’re giving Qataris the managing job to make sure that happens without manipulating or brainwashing the children!
on of my family members child was completely brainwashed about the idea of palestine and israel when her first grade teacher taught the kids that the israelis were the victims because palestinian kids started throwing rocks at them!
a western teacher (not stating the country) talked to 3 year olds about politics! that is a large factor of why Qatari female are taking the role as managing nurseries to not only check if everyone is doing their job but also not to drag children into political stories such as this.
So you are against “manipulating and brainwashing children”, but you want them to be learning the Quran at an early age? Oh, the irony…
how is that brainwashing?? they are learning about their religion and the peaceful teachings of islam…
All organized religion is brainwashing, IMHO. Until someone is an adult and has the cognitive skills to evaluate the beliefs of various schools of thought and religions on their own, I don’t think it’s fair to instill in them a particular belief system. They shouldn’t be doing anything more than learning about ALL the various belief systems in the world and then seeing which one they agree with the most, which one makes the most sense, given what they have learned. But that’s never how it happens.
its isnt if the children are being raised under a christian, islamic, jewish household its natural… and when they reach an age where they think logically independently they can then decide to branch out except muslims.
if it were brainwashing then we shouldnt send them to school or even teach them a thing because maybe they branch out to a religion where they arent allowed to go to school or learn… and then you ruined it for them..
I think I understand part of your argument about brainwashing. I went to an international school with teachers and classmates from all over the world. An educator in a diverse environment, whether they are in their home country, or an international teacher has a responsibility to think about their relationship to their students, including the diverse beliefs/background of their students. A good educator, and a good administrator is always thinking about the power they have. I don’t think you have to be a Qatari administrator to see that, you just have to be smart and caring enough to respect the diversity of your students.
“that is a large factor of why Qatari female are taking the role as managing nurseries to not only check if everyone is doing their job but also not to drag children into political stories such as this.”
I believe you are now heading into the realms of fantasy and urban myth. The thread was an interesting discussion about a vitally important area of education, which you have brought down to a slanging match, Qatari.
Are these studies by the same people who have determined driving damages the ovaries?
Just kidding! Good for your little one.
what study??! :O
My daughter could do many things by the age of two, far in advance of the norm and at age three could count and read/ write her name- she could not have read and memorized the quran. I think you are getting a tad carried away, Qatari.
It might not be rocket science, but not everyone is a good fit for working with young children. You might be surprised at the amount of planning and work that is required, not to mention the skill set that is needed.
you guys do know its a managing job not an actual hands on job with the children thats for the nursery teachers to do, and as long as every things in check its fine.
Sorry. My bad. Troll and I fell for it.
Even a management position in a nursery involves interaction with the children. Furthermore, one can not effectively manage something they know nothing about.
Wow…what you don’t know about the education, training and skills necessary to work effectively with young children could fill a book…
I believe there are few unemployed Qataris who really want to work. I have worked for 3 employers in Doha and we actively recruited Qataris, and in fact found far more interested and qualified Qatari females then males. And your derisive comment about the work at a nursery not being rocket science – that is just uninformed and as a result ignorant. And insulting to the professionals in this field.
How very offensive and ignorant!
wow now theres the real “backwards” mentality. since when is telling the truth is offensive or ignorant??
My colleagues who work with young children are the education equivalent of rocket scientists, and I mean that in the most sincere way. Making sure children get the right start in their education is the hardest job there is. I’ve read countless studies about children from poor families who have lesser preschool educations have miles to go to catch up with their peers who have better education by the time they are in kindergarten. That disparity can then continue on for the rest of their lives. A good preschool and kindergarten teacher can make a difference in thousands of dollars earned in the adult lifetime of a student. Please don’t poo-poo this job, and call it baby-sitting.
Actually, it is right up there with ‘Rocket Science’. The first formative years are critical in instilling social skills, literacy, numeracy, imagination, curiosity. Many young Qatari’s miss out on this, being cared for in isolation by nannies. So excellent nursery provision with trained educationalists is vital if Qatar wants to achieve it’s ambition of a highly educated population. Sadly, its a little too late for some.
Absolutely nothing if they are suitably qualified to hold such a position and the Government (who have set the wage above what a comparative worker would get) would like to subsidise the fees instead of penalising parents.
Most laws in Qatar are very rudimentary and are centuries behind….many of these have clauses that don’t serve to protect anyone but serves to the interests or ideologies of a few…Take immigration, labour laws, laws regulating driving, real estate laws, etc…..and finally when they bring out/update them, they come up with ridiculous recommendations…..ask any one who runs a kindergarten, the paperwork is so redundant and painful….
What do any of those new requirements have to do with safety and quality?
The supposed ‘changes’ quoted here are speculation not fact and I sincerely doubt that any Qatari National would work as a full time manager for QAR20k.
Changes and tightening up of regulations is needed- they are in place in many other countries and are there to protect the children. Listening to the nannies screaming at the toddlers in their charge in my neighbours house would suggest that properly trained and screened staff is an absolutely necessity.
As for scaremongering about children being forced to leave on their birthday? They are 4 years old for 1 year, then they turn 5. Sensationalist reporting here, not what I have come to expect.