Mindful of the traffic disruptions that will occur across the street at the Qatar National Convention Center on the first day of COP18, Qatar Foundation has reportedly canceled some classes on Monday, Nov. 26, instead asking students and staff to report to school on Saturday, Nov. 24.
The United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the largest event Qatar has ever hosted, and is expected to draw some 20,000 people to the country from Nov. 26 to Dec. 7.
“In addition to the anticipated attendance, the opening day will host the international dignitaries, which the organizers believe may have significant additional impact on traffic,” an email sent across QF states.
The deans of the QF branch campuses, which include Virginia Commonwealth, Texas A&M, Georgetown, Northwestern and the Academic Bridge Program, thus agreed to close all classes and offices on the 26th of November.
UPDATE: Cornell, HEC Paris and United London College, as well as Qatar Academy, will continue to hold classes on Monday.
“With this change, we will not miss an additional day of the semester,” the email said.
Last month, QF universities took an unscheduled extra day off due to Eid al-Adha holidays, and educators say the school calendar cannot lose any more days.
UPDATE: According to correspondance obtained by Doha News, COP18 organizers asked the Supreme Education Council to cancel classes at all schools across Qatar, but the request was rejected.
The email continues:
Sunday November 25 is a regularly scheduled day. From November 27 to December 7 all the universities and ABP plan to maintain a regular schedule for classes and offices.
We highly recommend anyone with a morning class to arrive on campus by 7:00am for the duration of COP 18 to avoid the additional traffic. Please allow at least an additional 30 minutes for your commute throughout the rest of the day. If possible, please find car pool opportunities to decrease the amount of congestion on the roads.
Despite the email, when reached for comment, a representative at Hamad bin Khalifa University said he could not confirm that classes had been rescheduled because of COP18.
Do any of your workplaces have plans in place to handle COP18 disruptions?
Credit: Photo by wasapninworld