Recent news about “Around one third of teachers in Qatar lack proper qualifications” adds another nightmare to school problems in Qatar. Before reading further, just please also read the fine prints. Survey and statistics can sometimes be misleading.
Nevertheless, for those arriving in Qatar with school-age children must know that school is a major problem, a milestone and a challenge. Some of the issues are:
1. Lack of quality schools resulting in a long waiting list. Some popular and good schools are even closed for application a year before!
2. Those claim as British schools or international schools do not really deserve their claim. Just do proper assessment prior to apply. Word of mouth, internet browsing, and checking Supreme Education Council assessment are recommended.
3. Some are having minimal facilities. Schools running on a compound villa with minimal extra curricula facilities are not uncommon. On the other hand, some have luxury of facilities, primarily owned by high-end school or embassy-running schools.
4. Hefty price tags. May not be a concern for an employee with company-provided school allowance (though vary in capping). School is inevitably a business.
5. Pupil background. Many aspire to send their kid to internation school for international exposure. Beware though that there may be pupil background skew.
6. Teacher, as mentioned at the beginning
7. Poor safety standards primarily for shuttle buses provided by the school. Improper AC, reckless driving, no seat belts, or no bus attendant/driver assistant are lastly adding nightmares to parents.