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Ten lean years of our education system

December 05, 2013 - 4:01:21 am

Many people in our society see the past ten years as lean years, as they were affected in one way or the other, whether as school students, particularly at the preparatory and secondary levels, or as university students.

The harm was done when the wheel of educational development was pushed hard, without patience. This development was in the form of an initiative that resulted in the creation of the Independent schools by adopting certain principles, which have got eroded quickly. The Independent school system has returned to the education system of the erstwhile Ministry of Education, even as it retains some elements of the education development initiative.

Some education experts describe the current educational system as a crow that tried to be a peacock but failed to do so. It also could not go back to what it once was. Some may not agree with this opinion, but still it is an opinion and has to be acknowledged.

At the same time, Qatar University adopted an academic accreditation programme, which has many requirements. This resulted in complicating university admission for citizens, who enjoy a constitutional right to higher education. These complications were in the form of tough and bizarre conditions for Qataris to study in the only university of their country, which is supposed to embrace citizens wishing to pursue university education, not expel them.  

Arabic language lost its pre-eminent position when the university adopted English as the medium of instruction. Also, admission tests were made tougher, which led to a decline in enrolment, and hundreds of Qatari students were dismissed or had their registration frozen. As a result, hundreds of youth became victims of unemployment, and the only national university repelled citizens -- not only the students but also professors and holders of higher education certificates, a number of whom were retired.

Our society is now facing the results of these ten lean years, whether in schools or university, expecting a decision from the decision-makers and rulers to reconsider and correct the situation and restore a sense of security to homes. We need our decision-makers to sharpen the skills of those who wish to continue their education, and professors who wish to serve this generation.


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