Posted on June 01, 2014

Visual arts curricula will be reintroduced into grades five and six in the next academic year, beginning September 2014, in 10 independent schools, officials at the Supreme Education Council announced.
 
This is the second phase of a plan to reintroduce visual arts across all grades, and comes after the successful pilot of the curricula in grades three and four within five independent schools. According to officials, the second phase will also see grades three and four curricula spread to 96 independent schools in the country. The SEC is continuously using input from the pilot phases to develop the programme, with the aim of fully reintegrating visual arts across all independent schools over the coming years.EC to reintroduce visual arts curricula1[qatarisbooming.com].jpg
 
Students, teachers and parents have welcomed the newly introduced arts curricula, applauding the educational, innovative and entertaining nature of the programme. Meanwhile, teachers in the pilot schools have reported a lower rate of absenteeism among students on days when an arts class is scheduled. The interactive nature of the programme has also raised participation levels among students.
 
Khadiga Al-Wadaani, a student at Al Bayan Primary Two School for girls, accompanied her mother to one of the arts classes. Her mother commented, “The visual arts class is very interactive as well as educational. I enjoyed it as a parent and could see that the students enjoyed it as well.”
 
During the pilot phase students took part in various artistic activities including showcasing their artwork in workshops, attending art exhibitions and visiting different museums around Qatar. The new arts curriculum is developed by SEC in partnership with key local cultural institutions including Qatar Museums Authority, Qatar University, Qatar Foundation, and Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. The entities together form a committee that has worked jointly on the syllabi, evaluation criteria, teacher training and roll-out plans.
 
So far, 138 teacher have been trained to teach the new arts syllabi. Basma Al-Hagri, an arts teacher at Saad Ibn Abi Waqas Independent School for Boys stressed on the importance of the teacher-training workshops, saying they “provide teachers with the necessary tools in order to plan their arts classes in a way that is suitable for every grade, and ensuring a cumulative learning process.”
 
Donia Ahmed Abu Faisal Al-Darwish, an arts teacher at Al-Manar Model Independent School for Boys, echoed the sentiment, “Training workshops provide teachers with the necessary background in arts history, aesthetic interpretation and artistic expression which enables them to develop and nurture their students’ talents.”
 
“The students’ artwork shows a great deal of creativity and talent, as well as influence from the Arab and Islamic art they have been exposed to throughout this programme,” commented Fawzia Al-Khater, Director of SEC’s Education Institute. “I’m delighted with the impact our partnership with institutions that are so integral to the cultural scene in Qatar has had on the first phase of this pilot, and look forward to seeing the success of further stages.”

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