DOHA: There is a severe shortage of private schools in the country as they have not been able to keep pace with the exploding population.
While 20 new private schools have come up in the country on average every year since 2010-11, the population has grown by more than 110,000 on average a year.
The country had 182 private schools in the 2012-13 academic year, while the population was more than two million (2,045,239, to be exact) at the end of 2013.
The population as on June 30 this year was over 2.15 million, according to the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics.
The number of private schools was 123 in 2010-11, and the country’s population was over 1.63 million (1,707,756, to be exact) by 2011-end.
This means that in the past three years the population has risen by almost 338,000.
A total of 121,000 students were enrolled in private schools in 2012-13, say figures released by the Supreme Education Council (SEC) in its Annual Education Statistics Booklet for 2012-13.
According to SEC figures issued earlier, there were 96,000 students enrolled in 123 private schools in the academic year 2010-11.
Some 22,500 of the 121,000 students enrolled in the 182 private schools in 2012-13 were Qatari.
At least 35,500 were Arab and over 62,500, or more than 50 percent, were others. There were barely 663 students from other GCC states on the rolls of these schools.
The SEC broke down the 182 private schools into different levels (kindergartens and pre-primary, primary, preparatory and secondary), which make up a total of 396.
Of them, a large number, or 50 percent (198), were concentrated in Al Rayyan alone, followed by Doha, which had 144 schools located within its boundaries.
Al Shamal, where the population has been rising, had just one school and Umm Salal two, whereas Al Dhayeen had seven. Al Khor had 17 private schools, whereas Al Wakra had 27.
There were just 92 students enrolled in the lone private school in Al Shamal, while the number of students in Umm Salal was 306.
Student enrolment figures were highest for Al Rayyan (67,500), followed by Doha (39,000).
There were 48.52 teachers on average per private school.
For Independent Schools that numbered 178 in 2012-13, the average number of teachers in a school was 68.14.
The number of students per class was on average more (25) in Independent Schools than in private schools (23). Out of 121,000 students in private schools in 2012-13, some 56,000, or less than half, were girls.
A total of 96,500 students were enrolled in Independent Schools in 2012-13, and of them over 50,500 were girls, the SEC figures show.