DOHA: The Supreme Educ-ation Council (SEC) has announced plans to open 28 new private schools by the next academic year, which begins in September. The move apparently is to address the severe shortage of private schools in the country.
The new schools will join the existing 132 schools and create an additional 10,000 seats for Qatari and expatriate students, the SEC said yesterday. Currently, a total of 1,281,80 seats are available at private schools that cater to different nationalities.
Five new international schools have so far been licensed with a total capacity of 2,200 students in all academic levels.
“Twenty-three applications for opening new schools are under study pending the completion of the missing requirements by the end of this month to be allowed to host students for the forthcoming academic year,” the SEC said in a statement yesterday.
“The SEC action plan to raise the admission capacity in independent and private schools is a top priority to meet the increasing needs of students, citizens and residents alike,” it added.
The SEC said that the key objective of its strategic plan was “to provide a school seat for every student in Qatar despite the rapidly-growing demographic challenge”.
Another challenge is that most parents want to enroll their children in specific schools in Doha although they reside in farther areas. As part of future plans, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning has approved allocation of 55 plots of land to establish new schools based on standards set by the SEC.
Accordingly, agreements have been concluded to set up two private schools in the next four years. Contracts for building eight new private schools are being processed under the first phase of the SEC plan. Besides, 10 other sites are being prepared to host new schools. Ground works have been completed for three schools while the remaining seven sites are still under preparation. The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning has agreed to allot 35 sites with a total area of 15,000 m2 each for building new schools, said the SEC.
The SEC is also working with Qatar’s top real estate developers to allocate land for establishing new schools and kindergartens. Accordingly, a joint commission between the SEC and Lusail Real Estate Development Company was formed under the Lusail City Education Infrastructure Excellence (EIE) programme. The city will include a full range of schools enjoying world-class features, said the statement.
The Lusail Real Estate Development Company will soon invite tenders for building new independent and private schools. The first phase will have seven private schools including two kindergartens, and five independent schools including two kindergartens. The sites will be delivered by the end of this year and the project is expected to be completed by 2018.
The SEC has called on businessmen to invest in private schools, taking into account the right selection of the curriculum and standards and the proper geographical distribution of the premises to meet the current requirements and future expansion plans of the country.