Over 323,251 students and 34,218 teachers have rejoined schools yesterday in the first day of the new academic year 2019-20 in over all government and private schools from KG to secondary level in different parts of the country.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education was well prepared for the academic year not only in areas of logistics but also in the field of curriculum development, teacher training, improvement of teaching quality and performance evaluation with the ultimate goal of having successful and skilled students, said Minister of Education and Higher Education H E Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Wahed Ali Al Hammadi, yesterday during a press conference.
The Minister added that the updated learning resources seek to produce a student equipped with information and critical thinking, which contributes to the transition to university education and then labour market successfully and easily.
He said that the Ministry has provided 2,146 school buses to government schools and recruited 646 teachers, 57 Qatari administrative candidates and 91 workers this year.
The press conference, which was held at the Ministry’s headquarters, was attended by Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Dr Ibrahim bin Salih Al Nuaimi; Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Affairs, Fawzia Abdulaziz Al Khater, and other assistant undersecretaries for private schools, general services and other senior officials.
The Minister pointed out that as part of the preparation for this academic year, the Ministry has approved only 29 applications out of 128 schools applied for fee increases and increases range between five and seven percent. He added that the Ministry has also increased the number private schools participating in the educational voucher system to 99 schools where more than 20,000 students will benefit from these vouchers. The Minister pointed out that 3,622 students have been transferred from private schools to government school this year.
Fawzia Abdulaziz Al Khater said that the Ministry has opened five new schools, three of which are for girls, two secondary schools in Al Wakra and Al-a’b, and a primary school in Al Murra.
She said that the boys will have two new elementary schools for the fifth and sixth levels in the Old Airport and Muaither South areas, which are expected to provide 3,168 seats. She added that the total number of teachers in all public schools will be 14,218.
She added that the total number of kindergartens and public schools in Qatar for the academic year 2019-2020 reached 68 kindergartens in separate buildings and 208 schools and the total number of students enrolled in public kindergartens was 8,173, and students enrolled in different school levels have reached 115,078.
Al Khater noted that two additional schools for children with special needs will start receiving students this academic year 2019-2020.
With regard to private education sector, the Assistant Undersecretary for Private Education Affairs, Omar Al Nehmeh, highlighted the role of private schools in the national educational system and stressed the supervisory role of the Ministry in setting clear requirements for the recruitment of teaching staff in private schools in order to maintain a high educational level and ensure quality of education.
Al Nehmeh spoke about the preparations for the new year, saying that the Ministry has granted licences to 25 new kindergartens and schools to operate in different parts of Qatar this academic year, which provide 15,000 seats.
He added that the total number of private schools has reached 310 with over 200,000 students and 20,000 teachers and administrators. He also noted that 128 schools have applied to increase their fees for the academic year 2019-2020 and the Ministry only approved for 29 schools with increase ranged from only five to seven percent.
Dr Ibrahim bin Salih Al Nuaimi, spoke during the press conference about the establishment and development of the Community College in Qatar, which is a distinct educational initiative which aims to serve the community by creating education that meets the labour market in Qatar by offering flexible programmes.
Taking into account the quality of the programmes, he said, the circumstances and desires of the students should be considered without compromising the quality of education and it should prepare the students for the labour market.
He said that now the college offers 17 educational programmes, including 12 associate diploma programmes and five bachelor programmes in various fields.
Regarding the preparations of the higher education sector for the new academic year 2019-2020, the Undersecretary for Higher Education Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Khalid Al Ali, said the Ministry has a plan to open new universities, including one Arab, one Asian, and one German and the number of higher education institutions in Qatar has reached 30 when compared to the 16 institutions five years ago.
The Minister said that there is a need, according to the Ministry’s discretion, for an Asian University and an Arab University and German university. “Work is under way to attract them, which will increase the diversity and expand the options for students.”
Dr. Khalid Al Ali added that Qatar currently has seven national higher education institutions, including Qatar University and Hamad Bin Khalifa University, seven American universities, eight British institutions, two French universities, two Canadian institutions, one Dutch university and one Spanish college.