Following several complaints about shortage of seats in Qatar’s private schools, a number of new schools are expected to open in the next academic year, Peninsula has reported.
An Arabic daily spoke to Mr. Hamad Al Ghali, Director of the Private Schools Office at Supreme Education Council, on this issue and below is the summary of his comments:
- SEC has received 96 applications for opening private schools during the 2015-2016.
- A final decision on the applications will be announced in June.
- Schools that have got initial approval have been given time until May-June to meet the licensing requirements so that they can start functioning when the next academic year begins.
- Last year, the SEC opened 35 private schools, including international schools, after receiving 98 applications for the 2014-2015 academic year.
- In November-December every year, the Private Schools Office receives requests for licences to open new private schools and kindergartens.
Criteria for School Licenses
Licences for new schools are issued based on strict criteria, most important conditions being related to the building, safety and security of the school premises and the fee structure.
Minimum Required Area
- Kindergartens : 1,250 square metres
- Primary school : 2,450 square metres
- Kindergarten + Primary school : 4,000 square metres
- Preparatory or Secondary school : 3,500 square metres
- Kindergarten + Primary school + Secondary school : 8,500 square metres
The SEC also scrutinises the study programme while issuing a licence to a new school, especially in the case of international schools.
Controlling School Fee
- The school fee is based on the infrastructure, facilities, staff and the study programme.
- Schools seeking a fee hike had been assessed on the basis of the quality of education and the financial status of the school.
- SEC tied up with an international company last year to lay down clear standards for fee hikes.
- SEC is moving towards comprehensive and transparent international practices in assessment of schools and fees to make the system unified after analysing the data and making comparisons
- Aim of this procedure is to improve the quality of education and control fee hikes to protect the interests of students and parents.
- SEC is seeking to make fee hikes gradual and reasonable, taking into account the inflation in the country.
- As part of this initiative, private schools have been classified into groups to make a reasonable comparison between similar schools in the light of performance and standards.