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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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Over 7,000 students across Qatar’s independent schools failed in the exams

This academic year’s second term examination results have come as a shock for many parents and students across Qatar’s preparatory and secondary Independent schools. A total of 7,333 students have failed this year’s examinations.

As per the Qatari Independent School system, students have to pass two sets of examinations – one conducted by the school and the other by the Supreme Education Council (SEC). Till last year, school exams carried 70% weightage while SEC exams carried a 30% weightage. This year, however, the reverse happened. The national exams were given a 70% weightage. Also, both exams had a gap of just two weeks.

The state of Qatar’s education system, especially at the primary and secondary levels, has been a cause for concern. Some months ago, JustHere columnist Nasser Al Naama had spoken about the failure of the education system in preparing him for under-graduate studies.

According to a report in Peninsula, many students have expressed their concern over the type of questions that were asked during the national exams, which they say were beyond the level of what was taught in school.

Officials from various preparatory and secondary schools have criticised the evaluation system and policies adopted by SEC. Here are what is being suggested.

  • Dissolution of the SEC to create separate departments for primary, preparatory and secondary schools that would fall under the Ministry of Education.
  • Recruitment of quality teaching staff should be carried out by the Ministry rather than schools.
  • Evaluation system should be shifted back to the previous system where school exams were given more weightage.
  • A centralised curriculum that should be followed by every school.

The SEC was established in 2002 as part of the Education for a New Era effort by the government to create a world-class education system in Qatar. For this, the RAND Corporation was commissioned to evaluate the K-12 education system and suggest necessary reforms. One such reform was the transformation of all government schools into autonomous independent schools to develop and improve curriculum standards and student performance. Read more about Qatar’s education reform here.

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