Browsing 'education' News

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More than 600 independent school employees in Qatar were terminated from their jobs this week, according to local media reports.

Many of the positions will be Qatarized ahead of the new school year, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education told principals in a circular, Al Sharq reports.

A list of Qatari candidates has already been put forth to fill the vacated slots. There are mostly in administrative positions.

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The newspaper added that the terminations have caught many school directors by surprise, especially because staff and teachers were given such short notice.

Crucial timing

However, a senior education ministry official said the timing was to give those who were laid off a chance to look for other jobs.

Schools also need enough time to hire replacements, the official said, according to Al Raya.

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Of the 650 people affected, about 15 percent – or 100 people – are teachers, the newspaper added.

Others include social workers, school bus monitors and administrative supervisors.

Some were contract workers, and many had already reached legal retirement age.

New school system

The layoffs come as Qatar is preparing to overhaul its education system so that it takes a more centralized approach.

Currently, government-funded independent schools operate with more autonomy.

But under a new law signed off on by the Emir earlier this month, the education ministry will serve as the authority regarding curriculum, staffing, school calendars, fees and disciplinary action.

Thoughts?

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Qatar’s Emir has signed off on plans to revamp the country’s independent school system, a move that will affect more than 100,000 school children.

Law No. 9 of 2017 will take a more centralized approach to education by forming a public school system for local children.

The legislation was approved by the Cabinet late last year.

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It aims to improve the quality of education for the “young generation in a way that helps enhance creativity and achieve scientific excellence,” Gulf Times reports.

The new school system will be run by Qatar’s education ministry.

It will serve as the authority regarding curriculum, staffing, school calendars, fees and disciplinary action, according to the law.

The ministry will also have a say in setting tuition costs and admission requirements for non-Qatari children, among other issues.

Out with the old

Currently, government-funded independent schools operate with more autonomy.

This has been the case for over a decade, since Qatar adopted a recommendation from the RAND Corp. to mimic a charter school system.

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Under that plan, independent schools have been free to apply more “student-centered teaching methods” and are regularly audited by the government to ensure they are up to standards.

Parents have also been allowed to choose the school that best meets their child’s needs.

But while standardized test scores are improving, Qatar’s students still remain well below the global average when it comes to math, reading and science.

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The dismal figures come at a time when the country is working to diversify its economy away from oil and gas.

Education is now a top priority, and is expected to be listed high up on Qatar’s upcoming five-year plan.

Thoughts?

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In the coming weeks, hundreds of young expats will graduate from Qatar’s universities. Many will grapple with visa and employment questions.

Oma Seddiq at the Daily Q, Northwestern University in Qatar’s student publication, has put together some advice to help these seniors with their transition out of school.

It is aimed specifically at those departing Qatar Foundation colleges, but we’ve added in some information for Qatar University students, too.

If you’re graduating in Qatar soon, here’s what you need to know:

1) If you’re on a student visa, your residency permit will expire soon.

Once you graduate, new alumni of Qatar Foundation usually have about three months to cancel their RPs or transfer their sponsorship to an employer or other entity.

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Qatar ID card

Notably, for QU students, international students only have five days to cancel their RPs after graduation, according to the university’s website.

However, graduating students should contact the school immediately after completing final exams to convey whether they want to cancel or transfer their RPs.

2) If you cancel your RP, you must leave Qatar within seven days.

Canceling will require submitting your Qatar ID and passport to your coordinator.

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Remember that if you own a vehicle, you must transfer that ownership registration to another resident and pay all traffic fines before canceling.

Here’s a checklist of some other requirements expats must meet before canceling their RPs, including closing out bank accounts, credit cards and loans.

3) Transferring your sponsorship will require an NOC from QF.

You won’t be able to get this until you present copies of your QID, passport, employment contract and employer’s valid computer card.

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You will also need to clear all outstanding dues with QF’s finance department. Once you get the NOC, your employer will complete the process.

4) EC Graduates need to clear out of their dorms by May 11.

Departing seniors can stay in HBKU housing for an extra week after graduation, but need to have emailed Housing and Residence Life already to get that extension.

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HBKU residence halls

It will cost additional fees to stay longer, including in the summer.

What advice would you add? Thoughts?