In the last few years, Qatar has emerged as Asia’s leading education hub and global center of learning. It is a direct result of its rising position as a destination of choice among overseas students seeking international quality education. The tiny Gulf nation is home to a number of international universities and academic institutions with best-in-class and diverse range of courses. The Government’s effort to enhance and improve the education sector is aligned with the goal of knowledge-driven economic development and growth.

For way too long, Qatar has been reliant on foreign workforce to stir it from an oil and gas-based economy to one that is more service and knowledge oriented. Recognising the changing dynamics, the country realizes that becoming an education hub will support its efforts to train and retain the large expatriate population of students as well as attract international students and workers from the region and beyond.

It has been almost a decade since the launch of the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030 development plan, providing the wealthy state with a blueprint of transformation and growth. The country has been one of the top advocates of the significance of education

Recently, in a high-level panel discussion organised by the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of EAA and advocate for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, urged the global community to facilitate access to quality education for displaced children and to enforce severe penalties on perpetrators of armed conflict. She stated that “Education must be given priority as it is the tool for the children of the present and future.”

In line with the stated approach to prioritise education and ensuring quality education within the country, Qatar’ Ministry of Education and Higher Education outlined its Strategic Plan from 2017-2022, including development and expansion of early education and the promotion of attractive educational environment.

The most recent initiative taken by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to promote quality education environment is designing a new Career Advising System (CAS), which is all set to be rolled out in the current academic session across public secondary schools in Qatar. The new CAS is a result of an MOU between Qatar Career Development Centre (QCDC), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

The new CAS is designed to cater to the futuristic needs emerging from Qatar’ social and economic environment. It is equipped with diverse and innovative components, as well as psychometric and personality assessment tools to help students identify the most appropriate academic and career paths in line with needs of the job market in the country.

Another major event, Career Guidance Stakeholders Platform 2018, was organised in line with Qatar Foundation’s efforts to promote career guidance in Qatar. The event, themed ‘Moving Operationally to Strategically Enhance Career Guidance in the State of Qatar’, was attended by 250 policy-makers, decision-makers and senior executives from various government institutions from Qatar and international organisations from the rest of the world at the Qatar National Convention Centre.

As stated by QCDC director, Abdulla al-Mansoori, “Nation-building requires a diverse set of competencies, skills, and jobs to ensure self-sufficiency when it comes to the local labour force required to bolster the state’s economy at present and in the future”. The initiatives to upgrade and direct talent in the country may be derived by Qatar’s ambition to become self-sufficient in the coming years to meet its workforce demand.

The innovation-driven approach highlighted in a recent event organised by HBKU’s College of Science and Engineering (CSE), entitled Qatar Towards a Smart Future, indicates that the move towards a knowledge-based economy is equally a strategic bend towards diversification of economy by becoming a major hub of quality education in the region.

 

 

Khalifa StadiumBy some estimates, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is going to cost the tiny Gulf nation approximately US $220 billion. This is about 60 times the $3.5 billion that South Africa spent on the 2010 edition. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil roughly cost $11.63 billion.

There’s a lot at stake, which is continually pushing Qatar to add more and more muscle to its security measures. The eruption of opposition to Qatar hosting this great event ever since it won the bid in December, 2010, is also a concern, prompting the country to form alliances to ensure safe passage of the tournament.

Since this would be the first-of-its-kind experience for Qatar, it has formed association with various security agencies to derive the necessary knowledge and expertise, such as the International Police Organisation (Interpol) and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS). The aim of these associations is to understand the security and safety implications, as well as sharing the record of possible threats so that proactive measures can be installed to tackle them.

The latest alliance is with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The Emir of Qatar, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, and the Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, on Wednesday signed the agreement on military and security cooperation and also discussed various challenges facing the region and the world as a whole, along with the promotion of international peace and security. This will play a major role in achieving Qatar’s objective of ensuring regional peace and security, which is critical to the success of the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Qatar’s objective of beefing up security also has a historical context to it, with the threat of terror being almost as critical as the actual attacks themselves.

Blasts from the past

Munich Attack-1972

The Olympics experienced its darkest day during the 1972 Munich Games. The Palestinian militant group, Black September, took the Israeli national team hostage, in the end butchering eleven athletes and coaches, along with a German police officer after a 16-hour clash.

The beautiful game turned ugly in 2002 when Basque separatist group, E.T.A., detonated a car bomb close to Madrid’s main stadium, the Bernabau, hours before the start of Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final against arch rivals Barcelona.

Ahead of the Beijing Games, China deployed a considerable security presence, claiming it had thwarted a terrorist hijacking plot. It warned it faced further threats in its Muslim-majority northwest. Five days prior to the lighting up of the flames, there was an attack by Muslim separatists in the city of Kashgar in China’s far western Xinjiang region, which left 16 policemen dead and an equal number severely injured.

In late 2015, Paris was hit by a series of attacks. It all started outside the national football stadium in Saint Denis and ended with the infamous standoff at the Bataclan Theatre. In

December 2016, a football stadium in Istanbul was witness to a horrific car explosion. And in April, 2017, the team bus of Borussia Dortmund faced a series of controlled explosions just as it left the team hotel, injuring one player…

 

 

Children are the most vulnerable section of any society throughout the globe and are also the future of a country. Understanding the importance of the proper framework of Child Rights, the Government of Qatar has sought to upgrade its legislation surrounding Child Rights to match the international standards.

Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) recently organised a forum addressing safe childhood in co-operation with Qatar Social Work Foundation under the wise leadership of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

The event highlighted that Qatar is committed toward securing Child Rights on both legislative and institutional level. Constitution of Qatar already includes legal provisions that consider family, maternal and child rights.

It was highlighted that Qatar has further ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child making it a part of its internal law. It also adjoined the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of child, child prostitution and child pornography and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of child in Armed Conflict (OPAC), for upgrading the legislation for Child Rights.

The Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Dr. Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi stated the importance of enriching child culture, consolidating, promoting and protecting child rights and extracting their creative energy to create a new generation that is able to lead the future. He stressed that is an important factor in achieving and maintaining a positive communication between the next generation and the society.

Dr. Saad further stressed that this is a combined responsibility of responsible forces in the society such as family, educational institutions, preachers, media outlets, civil organisations and the overall environment.

Protecting Child Rights is one of the major goals of Qatar National Vision 2030, in sync to achieve sustainable development. To achieve the same, the government is taking efforts toward updating the programmes that guarantee rights.

Moreover, as securing Child Rights needs contribution from all sectors of the society, the ministry is planning and taking various steps to spread social awareness and raise intellectual, factual and behavioural levels in children of the society. The aim is to promote and stimulate proper behaviour by which individuals communicate constructively with previous and coming generations, to enhance educational, social, health, cultural, skills, intellectual, creative and literary scenes among children in Qatar in various fields.

Further, the consequences on children in political crises such as the diplomatic blockade was pointed out as a violation of international law and human rights, especially considering the rights of children whose families have been separated.

Qatar Foundation for Social Work (QFSW) chief executive officer Amal Abdullatif al-Mannai committed that QFSW will promote the basic rights of children such as the right to identity, physical integrity, education and access to all information and services, as well as living in the family, physical and psychological rehabilitation, social reintegration, and the right to enjoy all rights without any discrimination, including the right of the disabled and orphan child to lead a decent life.