The Education Committee of Qatar Chamber recently held a ‘virtual’ meeting to address and review the obstacles facing the private education sector in the country, in view of the COVID-19 crisis. 

The meeting, headed by Committee Chairperson Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari, was attended by HE Dr Ibrahim bin Saleh Al-Nuaimi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and Omar bin Abdul Aziz Al-Nemah, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education.

The meeting touched on the reluctance of parents to pay the remaining outstanding school fees for the current year 2019-2020, the closure of educational centres and kindergartens, as well as the challenges of distance learning.

The Ministry of Education is providing many options for private schools in case they fail to implement distance learning – including providing parents with worksheets at the end of every week.

The committee also called on the Ministry of Education to activate continuous communication and coordination between parents and schools, suggesting that schools provide support for parents through exemptions from bus charges. The committee also proposed that if bus charges were already collected, they will be ‘carried over’ next year.

Dr Al Nuaimi said that the Ministry supports the investments of the private sector, and that they continue to communicate with UNESCO and with other international organisations. He urged all private schools to take into account the current circumstances and conditions of families and parents, stressing the ministry’s interest to support them in their development plans.

Assistant Undersecretary Al-Nemah said that the Ministry and the Education Committee of Qatar Chamber are in constant communication to provide support in these circumstances and to join hand to overcome obstacles and challenges facing the private education sector.

The meeting discussed problems facing some kindergartens which are incapable of implementing distance learning properly.

They committee also assured that the second term exams will not be cancelled, and will be conducted online.

The meeting reviewed the study prepared by Qatar Chamber on the dangers and repercussions of COVID-19 on the private sector in general and in line with the study prepared by the Ministry on distance learning. The study’s suggestions and recommendations are to be submitted to the concerned authorities.