To tackle the problem of overcrowding at many of Qatar’s top secondary schools, the Supreme Education Council has said it will start accepting applications for private school licenses on Sunday.
But the SEC appears to have revised existing licensing rules to require that schools reserve at least a quarter of their seats for Qatari students – a provision that some educators find baffling.
The revision goes a step further than the SEC’s earlier move to provide vouchers to help Qatari families pay for private schooling for their children and once again could signify the government’s eroding confidence in independent schools.
“Community” schools are exempt from the new requirement, but that term has not been defined.
The Peninsula reports:
“To achieve this 25 percent target, many Qatari students from Independent schools will have to be moved to private schools. If a school does not find enough Qatari applicants, how would it meet this requirement? And how can this be made a pre-condition for obtaining a licence?,” (one national) wondered.
Other requirements include:
- A weekly allocation of hours to teach Arabic and Islamic studies to Qatari students
- The promotion of the national identity of Qatari students
- That the school building be far from shops and industrial and commercial areas that could affect the school’s educational mission
The application process will be open through December.
Credit: Photo by Washington & Jefferson College