18 May 2017
Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani yesterday issued the Law No. 9 of 2017 regulating government schools. The law is effective on the day following its publication in the official gazette.
The law stipulates that the state will establish schools and will allocate them budget for running their operational and educational activities.
The new law has brought all the independent schools under the Ministry of Education and Higher Education as it stipulates the Ministry of Education and Higher Education will establish, regulate and operate these schools and appoint the administrative and academic staff and supervise them to achieve quality education.
Currently independent schools are state-funded schools with the autonomy to recruit teachers and staff, and establish their own methods of teaching. The amount of funding allocated to each independent school depends on the number of teachers and students. Independent schools are free for Qatari citizens while non-Qatari enrollments are subject to individual school policy. The law stipulates that those who are operating independent schools currently should rectify their financial and administrative status within six month from the date of enforcement of this law and the Minister of Education has the right to extend the grace period for further six months.
The law says that education is a basic right of every citizen which is ensured by the state. The terms and conditions for accepting non Qatari students in the government schools will be determined by a decision issued by the cabinet in accordance to proposal of The Ministry of Education.
The law mentions that schools with grade-1 to grade-6 are primary schools, those from grade-7 to grade-9 are preparatory schools while secondary schools are from grade 10- grade 12.
Cabinet to decide school calendar
Specialised and technical and vocational schools will be regulated by the decision issued by the Cabinet.
The law mentions that the Ministry is allowed to set up pre-schools and kindergartens (KG) classes for 4- year old children, according to rules and regulations decided by the Ministry.
The school calendar and their vacations will be decided by the Cabinet.
The Ministry will also be in-charge of deciding education system for people with disabilities and learning difficulties, and for students with extraordinary talent and special capabilities.
The Ministry of education will set up the education system, curriculum, education plans, examinations, rules for promotion of student and discipline. All this should be approved by the Minister, said the law. Text books, fees, transportation fees for non Qataris and non GCC students will be determined by the ministerial decision.
The minister of education issues the executive regulations for implementing the provision of this law and until then the current rules and regulations and decisions will remain in force.
© The Peninsula 2017