Posted on September 15, 2016

As the new academic year in Qatar is all set to begin on Sunday, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has launched a back-to-school campaign to help students and parents better prepare for the new session. The 10-day campaign, titled “Bil Ilm Nabnee Qatar” (With knowledge, we build Qatar) begins today with a variety of activities at two shopping malls in the city — Gulf Mall in Al Gharafa and Dar el Salam Mall in Abu Hamour.

The campaign will continue until September 24. Nearly 300,000 children in Qatar will return to their classes on Sunday, with opening of 191 Independent schools and 245 private schools and kindergartens. The new academic year begins after a long summer break that stretched over two-and-a-half months. Hassan Al Mohammadi, head of Public Relations Department at the ministry said that the back-to-school campaign was intended to make people physically and mentally prepared for the new academic year.

“There is a need for raising community awareness to get children easily accustomed to the school environment after the long summer holidays,” said Al Mohammadi. Activities at the malls will take place from 4pm to 10pm on working days and from 2pm to 4pm during weekends. They will provide an opportunity for students and parents to interact with teachers and officials on issues related to education. The ministry, in cooperation with Q-Post will issue a postal stamp carrying the campaign logo to welcome the new academic year at an event in Katara on September 20.

Events at the malls will include a stage show titled “Maharatee” (My talent) and distribution of leaflets to raise awareness on children’s health and safety. Children and parents will be taught about the negative aspects of private tuitions through a video clip on the ministry’s Youtube channel. They will also be introduced to the law pertaining to private tuitions. Any educational services without a licence, including tuitions remain banned in Qatar. Meanwhile, Independent and private schools are busy completing preparations for the new academic year. “All preparations are complete. Books and timetable are ready and will be distributed on the first day,” a teacher of an Independent primary school told this daily yesterday.

Independent school teachers resumed work early this month, although students will resume classes on Sunday. “We have an ice-breaking exercise in the beginning of every academic year. The teacher should get to know every student individually through observation, academic history, family background, health history, among others. No student should be left out,” she said.

source: The Peninsula