Qatar urges private schools to respect local culture

September 14, 2011

Qatar’s Supreme Education Council (SEC) has warned that it would take legal action against private schools that fail to respect the country’s culture, religion and traditions.

According to a circular issued as classes resumed following summer holidays, all schools must ensure that all text and visual information conveyed to students about Qatar is genuine and in line with its social and religious culture.

The circular issued by Sabah Al Haidoos, director of the Education Institute at SEC, also outlines the priorities to be followed by all the private schools to provide quality education to their students, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Wednesday.

Islamic values

Schools are not permitted to use material or books that contain words, pictures or symbols that are not in conformity with Islamic values and principles or with the local heritage.

The circular asked the schools to ensure that all information given to students about Qatar is accurate and is taken from authentic sources. It is also mandatory for the schools to teach Qatari students local history and Islamic themes.

Every school has been instructed to set up a special committee to scrutinise all its books and study material to ensure that they conform to the SEC guidelines.

Must take the issue seriously

The Private School Office at SEC has also warned the schools against violating the rules.

“All the schools must take this issue seriously… We are monitoring the methods being adopted by the schools in this regard. We will take legal action against those schools violating this directive,” Fawzia Al Khater, director of the Private Schools Office, said.

Private school sources said that they were aware of the issue.

“At the beginning of every academic year, our school holds meetings with the teachers where the seriousness of this issue is discussed,” an English teacher working with an Arab school said, quoted by the daily.

She said there were some issues last year when a foreign teacher at a private school reportedly distributed some pictures and books that did not comply with the SEC directives.



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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