Qatar authorities to take action against parents who do not send children to school

March 14, 2011

Parents who do not send their children to school face legal action under the Compulsory Education Law in Qatar.

A committee has been set up to probe the violation of law 25/2001 which ensures free and compulsory education in keeping with a recent decision of the education minister.

According to the decision, the standing committee is tasked with assessing the magnitude of the problem and finding out the number of children who do not attend school.

The committee is also required to study the reasons behind guardians objecting to sending their children to school and to take action in the cases where a child is deprived from going to classes, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Monday.

However, experts say that there are very few cases in Qatar where children are not sent to school.

“Qatari children not going to school is very rare. People have realised the importance of education,” Shaikha Al Jefairi, a committee member from the Old Airport locality, said. “If the committee finds such cases, they must ensure that financial aid is provided and teams must be formed to follow them up,” she told the daily.

The committee said that some absence from school were observed and that authorities will be contacted to ensure that appropriate legal action is taken against the offending parents.

“There are very few children who do not go to school,” Farida Al Obaidly, Director-General of Qatar Foundation for the Protection of Women and Children and a member of the newly-formed committee, said.

“There are some cases in which children have some social phobias or teenagers just stop listening to parents and leave school. In some of the cases, parents got married abroad, but did not register their marriage in Qatar and their children were not sent to school. In other cases, guardians do not send children to school because the child does not want to study. However such cases are few and far between.”

Though schooling is free, some believe that there can be cases outside Doha and within Bedouin communities where students do not attend school as they are unable to meet other expenses.

“Education is perceived as a burden due to financial constraints, and this cannot be justified. There are many charity organisations in Qatar that support families for various needs,” Al Obaidly said.

The committee will also identify the type of intervention that should be undertaken by each authority on the committee and will explore possible solutions and make suggestions to help the initiative.

Under this ministerial decision, the standing committee is instructed to submit regular reports to the education minister highlighting the problems and the types of solutions for each individual case for the implementation of appropriate actions.

Education in Qatar is compulsory and free for all children from primary to the end of the secondary stage or until the child reaches the age of 18.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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