23.5 C
Doha
Thursday, February 25, 2021

‘Misery’ expressed after Qatar school announces permanent closure

-

Asian Integrated School
Asian Integrated School

In what parents are calling “a chaotic tragedy,” the Asian Integrated School (AIS) has confirmed that it will close its doors for good next month, leaving up to 200 children without a school place in the fall.

The Philippine-curriculum school in Al Messila had been on a desperate hunt to find a new site for months. The lease on its current location expired a year ago, and a year’s extension that had been granted last summer is almost up.

Parents had been warned of the school’s possible closure at the end of April during a meeting in which officials advised them to start looking for other options.

After a lengthy search, two alternative locations were identified – one on the site of the former Shafallah Center for children with special needs, and another near Dahl Al Hammam family park, close to Landmark Mall.

However, the rent on both sites would have been significantly higher than the QR88,000 a year the school pays for its site on Al Jazeera Al Arabiya Street, and AIS would have had to hike tuition fees to meet the increased costs.

The Supreme Education Council (SEC) initially rejected the school’s petition to increase tuition. AIS appealed and was in protracted discussions with the SEC, which it had understood would have given them an answer more than a week ago.

Letter to staff

However, the SEC has yet to reply, the school said.

With the current lease extension on the existing property set to expire at the end of July, the school management said it has been forced to formally write to staff to advise them that AIS would close at the end of this term.

The announcement came in a letter dated June 2 that was given to the 60 teachers and administrators yesterday, and was signed by Sheikha Eman Qubrosi, who is understood to be one of the school’s owners:

“As AIS management promised to issue an announcement not later than June 2, 2015, the SEC remains mum… Therefore AIS management has decided, with measure of great sadness, to close the school for we cannot hold on to the uncertainties of our school’s fate,” the letter states.

pupils at AIS
AIS students

The school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) had been campaigning to try to keep AIS open, organizing petitions to the SEC and helping in the search for an alternative campus.

Its president, Joseph Rivera, told Doha News that the SEC’s silence on the issue so far had left the school with no option but to announce its closure.

He said that while many of the 506 mostly Filipino students at the school had managed to find places at others schools, around 160 children of lower-income families could be left without formal education in Qatar:

“These are the children of parents who just can’t afford the fees of the other international schools here. They will either be home schooled, or some of them will go back to the Philippines to go to school there, which will break up their families. They are very sad and frustrated about the situation,” Rivera added.

‘Move mountains’

It is understood that parents have not yet officially received a letter of closure from the school, though Rivera advised them of the letter to the staff in a post yesterday on PTA’s Facebook page:

“God knows that we did everything we could, even way beyond our level best, so as not to disrupt and displace the regular schooling of our children. And though we were all determined to move mountains if needed, some obstacles along the way simply couldn’t be moved due to unfortunate circumstances way beyond the PTA’s control.

Our level of frustration is unimaginable and though the PTA BOD may be divided in opinion, a majority of us have reason to believe that that the great lack of compassion, absence of political will, disregard of education ethics and ignorance of any sense of urgency by those responsible for this chaotic tragedy have caused us this misery.”

Rivera added that he maintains a “flicker of hope” that the SEC could still approve the school’s continued operations with increased fees, but added he ultimately suspected closure was “inevitable.”

Thoughts?

39 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
39 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago

SEC is good at producing problems, not finding solutions.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

funding a private school with public money would be a problem. SEC i wise not to do anything in the first place

Transcension
Transcension
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

I don’t understand why do you always bring up the argument about “using public money”. It is very, very clearly stated in the article that they simply need an APPROVAL to increase tuition to break-even, to which SEC does not even spend a single penny on.

If your argument of “wise not to do anything” holds true, then why don’t they just let them do whatever they want i.e. increase tuition as they see fit?

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Transcension

the approval of the increase depends on which category the school is , so a school which service mostly ppl with limited income by giving them affordable education , cant ask for a rise in tuition unless it start giving higher standers of education.& SEC should have been wiser if they didn’t offer anything since the school does not follow the country’s curriculum or language.let the embassy of which the curriculum is taken steps in.

Transcension
Transcension
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Your first point in the above post conflicts your first argument that “it is wise for them NOT to do anything,” because SEC clearly interferes with the process by denying their requests (despite your argument claims they do a wise move by not doing anything). Besides, there are rationales that play roles in the tuition hike (more expensive rent) apart from “higher standard” of education.

Your statement implies that it is unfair for SEC to interfere in any way, yet your second statement implies that it is perfectly fine for SEC to interfere by denying their requests which would cease the school’s existence. See the double standard?

The school does not follow the country’s curriculum, and similarly the school does not require SEC to spoonfeed it by any means. The school merely requires permission, as part of the legal procedure, to increase the tuition hike to cover their costs. If SEC shouldn’t interfere with private schools (as per. your first argument), then I fail to see any reasons why they should make this case an exception and interfere with the school’s needs to increase tuition.

Expat Guest
Expat Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  Transcension

Good one Transcension!!!

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Transcension

you didnt get it, they shouldn’t be interfering because its a private school, but they interfere because its an education ranking .for example . a school ranked A can ask for higher tuition .while another one ranked C cannot. that’s the truth.

Guest Expat
Guest Expat
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

You don’t get the point in the news….

Transcension
Transcension
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Which again proves my point that it is a double standard that you are making i.e. it is fine for them to interfere on one issue yet it isn’t for others.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Did you read the story…

Pete
Pete
5 years ago

Only in Qatar.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Pete

actually around the world , private schools has nothing to do with the public education .SEC shouldn’t use any money to save the school, helping in finding a new place . they should

Pete
Pete
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

I agree, but why then did the SEC deny the school to increase their fees?

The school didn’t ask for financial help so I don’t understand you.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
5 years ago

Absolutely disgusting. ‘Supreme’ education council? Nothing supreme about them, putting children’s education at risk like this. They are supposed to do absolutely everything to ensure children get an education here in Qatar and they don’t even bother to reply to this school? Useless.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

sorry to hear about the school, but in which country do you hear that a public education system , pays or fund a private one ???

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

This one.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

If local people can’t do the work or won’t do the work that is needed to built this country then they must supply the education and other perks for the expats to come and build it for you.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

sorry but that is stupid . building or paying for schools which are not serving qataris are insane .unless you guys start paying TAX , you can start to say QATAR must provide you ( an expat ) with education which does not follow even our education system or language. & according to your logic ( would your country fund a qatari school if im there) lets be honest .not even an option .

Transcension
Transcension
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

“Supplying” the education is a broad term, and does not necessarily translate to “freely providing education.” Supplying in this context may refer to merely allowing the existence of international schools that the expats (population majority by number) need for their children, which SEC fails to do as its denial of the school’s request force it to close down.

Countries worldwide do create nationality-specific schools on other countries e.g. an American school in Doha to cater to the needs of its citizens who are living abroad. These schools require permits from host government, yet the school has its own autonomous day-to-day operation that follows the curricula of its country of origin.

All SEC has to do, as far as this article is concerned, is to provide the school with a permit to increase its tuition fee. I fail to see how that may have any adversary effect on Qatar as a country, or more precisely, I fail to see how denying the permit (as opposed to allowing the school to increase its fee) minimizes the potential problems.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Transcension

sorry is the american school a private or public school? are you saying they cater for american resident in qatar? thats totally not true. most are non american & even not Qatari .so they are private.with american curriculum. Qatar like any other country shouldn’t provide a private schools to non-citizen (QATARI) just because they come from a different background.public school provide education for free to whom lives in qatar(Qatari/non-Qatari). its a law . private schools arent

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

I’ve just read this and realised that you pretty much have no idea what your talking about. Broaden those horizons of yours, outside of this tiny state. How incredibly narrow minded you are.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

actually your the one who should open your eyes to the real world. if you are expat in Qatar , don’t demand things an expat wont get in your own country. can you process what im saying .

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Yeah, no I can’t process what you’re saying because I still don’t think you have a clue what you’re talking about.

Transcension
Transcension
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

They provide it with the express thought of providing their citizens. Anyone who wishes to join is welcomed to do so. You still haven’t answered the core argument, while we know SEC is not supposed to (and we do not expect them to) provide any aid to the aforementioned school; we simply believe that SEC should allow the school to operate as per. its needs, which SEC currently doesn’t by interfering with the school’s needs to increase fare that leads to jeopardizing the school’s continuity.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

The uk provide school places for immigrants free of charge, stupid, yes, but EVERY child deserves an education. You can speak English so if you went to the UK to love then your child could go to a public school for nothing. Many of these public schools are classed as outstanding, as good as private schools. Expat children can’t go to public schools here because they are all Arabic.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

sorry your example don’t make any sense , EXPATS are not EMIGRANTS , you cant really asked a country to build schools for ppl how might just pick up there stuff and leave. and the ARABIC part you should learn the language of the country you are working/studying in. if you went to the UK & spoke lets say ARABIC.let me know how would ppl there respond.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Im saying the UK schools are open to everyone. Immigrants, expats everyone. They go the public schools that accommodate everyone and are accessible for everyone. Here expats don’t have that luxury. Why would I learn the language of a country that I might only be working in for 1 year. It would take me that long to learn it, let alone have my child educated in it. You really think that Qatar should be for Qatari’s and Qatari’s only don’t you? It doesn’t work like that.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

your answer shows how little your mind is. go to china, Germany , France for work/studying.will they accept you talking to them at work/study in there schools in English . or they would build there schools around ppl how don’t speak their language. & wise ppl would learn the language of the place they are going to work/study.after all Qatar/Qatari shouldn’t use any other language than Arabic .

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Is that why you have replied to me in English?

Transcension
Transcension
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Is Arabic and English comparable? Is Arabic the standard international language? Perhaps you should make a parallel comparison first.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Transcension

your mind is not functioning , another example for the poor minded , go to Germany , for work/studying. try talking in English there every day. see the respond of ppl .& after all Qatar/Qatari shouldn’t use any other language than Arabic

Transcension
Transcension
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

My point here is trying to draw a criticism on your attempt to compare two events which have a very different background in which one cannot simply draw a comparison upon. Again you proved my point by continuing to compare things which are incomparable.

My last reply here, getting off-topic.

Observant One
Observant One
5 years ago

SEC – Supreme Eradication Council – who cares about expat children? Get rid of them back to their countries they contribute nothing to the glory of Qatar.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

actually to be honest, no country that i know will fund schools for non citizen, they are private schools. they shouldn’t be funded by the public education system.

Doodz
Doodz
5 years ago

This is why I Love Qatar!!! serve me but I don’t care about you!!!!

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Doodz

private schools are not Qatars priority , public ones are, expat are more than welcome to use the public ones.

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed

They had a very cheap rental!!! QR88,000 a year for a school!!!

That’s less than QR7,500 per month!

Transcension
Transcension
5 years ago

That is probably why they cannot extend the contract. Either way, the cheap rent allows the school to charge a lower price to satisfy the “lower income” group as per. the article.

Transcension
Transcension
5 years ago

While we all blame it on SEC, I do wonder if the school should also be under the spotlight, since it has approximately one year (from the expiration of their permit to the final expiration of the extension) to come up with a continuity plan, be it relocating, rebuilding, SEC permits, etc. Additionally, it has a few months, if not years, before the initial end of contract, to come up with some kind of planning to avoid this problem. I am tempted to also blame it on the school for their lack of future planning, especially when it deals with the continuity of the school, yet I admit I am not the best person to judge the school’s internal affairs.

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Vaccine Passport?: Where you can travel if you’ve been vaccinated

0
Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19? Here are some destinations that don't require you to quarantine! Qatar's health authorities on Thursday confirmed residents that have...

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.