In response to the widespread usage of private tutors in Qatar, the Supreme Education Council has mandated that independent schools hold special “enrichment” sessions for struggling students.
The goal is to establish a program by next semester that offers classes to help students prepare for various tests and qualifying exams for college admission, a circular on the SEC’s website states.
The SEC said it is organizing this option to help parents avoid the prohibitive costs of employing a private tutor, and curb the problem of student absenteeism due to over-reliance on these tutors.
But to devise these extra programs, schools will need to hire more experienced teachers and supervisors, a daunting task for many schools already struggling to meet the basic standards.
According to a 2012 report conducted by the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University, nearly 50 percent of students at independent schools depend on tutors.
That’s in large part because of there is a shortage of qualified teachers in the independent school system, educators assert.
“At some point, we have to start appointing teachers that don’t meet the standards,” said Fatma Becetti, the academic vice principal at an independent school in Dukhan, said in a recent article about school woes. “We don’t have another choice.”
Credit: Photo by Steven Depolo