DOHA: The Supreme Education Council (SEC) is the target of a fresh campaign in the social media after it reportedly struck down the directives of the education minister to reduce teaching hours in the state-run Independent schools.
Following persistent demand from the Qatari community, operators of a number of Independent Schools met the Minister of Education and Higher Education H E Mohammed Abdul Wahed Ali Al Hammadi, and it was decided to reduce teaching hours for different levels.
Some other issues like adding some subjects to the curriculum of different levels were also discussed at the meeting.
It was decided that the elementary schools (from grade 1 to 6) would be over at 12 noon, while the preparatory (grade 7 to 9) and secondary schools (grade 10 to 12) would end their classes at 1.35pm.
In a circular sent to the schools, though, the SEC said the elementary schools would be over at 12.30pm, while teaching in the preparatory and secondary schools must continue until 1.45pm.
The new school timings became effective from yesterday, according to the SEC circular.
The move has infuriated people so much so that they launched a Twitter campaign against the SEC, with most Tweeters bitterly criticising the school regulator.
Until the time of going to press, more than 160 people had tweeted, most of them against the SEC, and comments were still pouring in.
“A bunch of women sitting at the SEC and controlling it is responsible for the mess in the education system,” said a tweet.
“The SEC doesn’t have regard even for the minister,” said another tweet, saying he wondered how the regulator could simply overrule the decision of the minister.
The SEC has destroyed the education system and now it has begun disregarding the minister, said yet another tweeter taking part in the campaign titled ‘#What’s Happening in the SEC’.
Incidentally, a campaign against the SEC began in the third week of last month, spearheaded by famous columnist Faisal Al Marzouki.
He called on parents and students to boycott schools on October 1. The boycott call was, however, withdrawn by him a few days ago after the Education Minister agreed to change teaching hours in schools and met some other demands of Qatari teachers.
The fresh campaign against the SEC was launched on September 30 a day before the SEC circular asked Independent schools to introduce the new timings.
The campaigners are accusing the SEC of lacking vision and direction and demanding that it be set right.
Qataris are also disappointed that private schools are charging their children and wards higher fees while expatriate students are required to pay less.
The latest decisions, to cancel the morning assembly in schools as a precaution against coronavirus, and on keeping a gap of two metres between students in classrooms has further infuriated people in the Qatari