Administrators at several boys’ schools across Qatar are struggling with a sudden directive to remove female personnel from these institutions, Al Watan reports.
Under the order, which comes in the middle of the school year, any female Qatari teachers, as well as those working in administration, accounting, social services and public relations at independent boys’ schools must be transferred to girls’ schools.
Female expat staff will have their contracts terminated, though they are to be given no-objection certificates so they can find work elsewhere in Qatar, it adds.
Before the directive, boys’ schools allowed female teachers to work with students until the sixth grade, Gulf News reports.
The local community has long debated whether young boys should be taught by female teachers, for fear that they may start imitating their behavior or mannerisms.
On Twitter, the debate continued today under the hashtag منع_النساء_بمدارس_البنين (the prohibition of women in boys’ schools).
Many appeared to support the decision, saying it was an “excellent step,” while others called it “shameful.”
Also on Twitter, the Supreme Education Council defended the move, saying it was “for the benefit of all” and telling one protesting male student that “Tomorrow, when you become a successful man, God willing, you will realize the extent of this decision’s importance, rest assured, dear student.”
Cultural implications aside, school officials are saying it has been difficult implementing the directive for practical reasons.
Gulf News translates:
Replacing the teachers and administration staff and ensuring a smooth handover of files, tasks and responsibilities were among the major concerns they had to face as they struggled to deal with the new reality, they said.
They added that foreign teachers and administrators had financial commitments towards the schools and local banks and needed a stable income to honour them and urged the authorities to allow them to continue to work until the end of the academic year.
Credit: Photo courtesy of SEC on Twitter