Posted on February 26, 2020

Qatar’s transition from Education for a New Era (ENE) reforms to a Ministry-based education system provided the context for a recent talk organized by the College of Public Policy (CPP) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).

Leading Change and School Improvement: What to Do and Where to Start? utilized Qatar’s past and present education systems to reflect on the importance of school leadership amidst improvement and change processes. Discussions began with a reflection on the successes and challenges posed by the ENE, particularly from an educational leadership perspective. The case was then made for additional policies that provide professional development for Qatar’s school leaders and teachers. Proceedings closed with questions and answers and additional interventions from an audience made up of education policymakers, academics, leaders and practitioners.

CPP’s guest speaker for Leading Change and School Improvement: What to Do and Where to Start? was Dr. Asmaa Al-Fadala, Director of Research and Content Development at WISE, an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF). Dr. Al-Fadala has over twenty years of professional experience in K-12 education and higher education. In her current role at WISE, she leads a research team that supports the QF CEO’s Office on a number of projects. Dr. Al-Fadala’s research interests include leadership for learning, school improvement, teacher professional development and educational reform.

Speaking after the talk, Dr. Al-Fadala said: “As the ENE era gives way to a Ministry system, it’s important we refocus on what lies at the core of education: human development and learning. While much has been said and written about this and related subjects from a policymaker’s perspective, educators’ voices have been much quieter. Conversely, it’s the latter who have lived, implemented and taught through reform processes. It was therefore important that this talk shared their perspectives. Educators are, after all, key stakeholders in any education system.”

Also speaking after the event, Dr. Leslie Pal, Dean, CPP said: “It was an honor to host Dr. Al-Fadala for this talk. Her expertise in the field of educational reform and interrelated subjects is second-to-none and grounded in experience garnered at home and abroad. Dr. Al-Fadala’s willingness to talk to us demonstrates how quickly CPP has evolved from HBKU’s newest college to an important contributor to policymaking debates within Qatar and further afield. We look forward to hosting more of these expert discussions in the near future.”

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