The Peninsula -- The measures taken by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to increase the availability of seats in private schools has brought relief for some schools. However, some other schools plan to build new campuses and add more classes to meet the growing demand of seats.
Allotment of plots of land to community schools and a recent decision to allow some private schools to run afternoon shifts from next academic year are among major steps taken by the ministry to maintain the supply of seats to private schools meeting the increasing demand.
Representatives of private schools in a meeting with The Peninsula, have lauded the move of the ministry, which, according to them, ‘will solve the problems of schools and parents’ by supplying sufficient number of seats.
The ministry has allowed Shantiniketan Indian School (SIS), MES Indian School, and Ideal Indian School to run afternoon shifts as well.
DPS MIS that already has a school in Al Wakra will be opening its second campus in Al Wukair this year. Samir Rai said that the move will help to solve the problem of the shortage of seats in a big way in coming academic year.
“The biggest challenge for our school is to provide seats,” Mariam Khan, Registrar of The Next Generation (TNG) School, said, adding that the school is looking forward to have a new campus.
“We receive complaints from parents regarding admissions; that is why we as Pakistani school (due to its Pakistani management while TNG School offers only British curriculum) are also enrolling other nationalities’ students unlike Indian schools which allow only Indian students,” said Mariam Khan.
Uzma Ansari from the same school said: “We have some seats only at our new fifth campus.” She said that as per the policy of the ministry, a classroom should not exceed 30 students for primary level and 25 for upper levels.
Sivapragasam Sivam, Principal of Stafford Sri Lankan School-Doha said: “We, as the only Sri Lankan school operating in Qatar, are instructed by the Embassy of Sri Lanka to give admissions to all Sri Lankan students. So we cannot reject any application regarding admission.”
However, he said, this is a challenge to accommodate the growing number of students as we are operating on full capacity. “Recently, we built 25 classrooms to increase the capacity during last summer vacations and hired more staff to meet the demand,” Sivam said. Edward S Fernadno from same school said that the government allocated a plot of land to Sri Lankan School in Al Khor to build a new campus. “Now, we are trying to build new campus,” he added.
Uzma Ansari said that fifth campus of The Next Generation School located close to Lusail area behind Lusial Stadium is a big villa comprising 14 classrooms, but there is empty land so the school plans to construct another campus.
“Following the instruction of Traffic Department, we are trying to accommodate the students as per their locations so that specific campuses we had built for the students coming from those areas,” Mariam Khan from The Next Generation School explained.