By Noimot Olayiwola/Staff Reporter
A number of expatriate schools have lamented huge losses on the sale of the Qatari History textbooks that were recently introduced by the Supreme Education Council (SEC).
The Qatari history book is being retailed among the students at QR76 and QR200 for year one and year eight students respectively while the Arabic textbook is being sold for QR63 per copy.
The SEC had last year instructed all private schools to teach Islamic studies, Arabic language and Qatari History to their students. It conducted regular follow-up to monitor schools and ensure their commitment to the new regulation and all its policies. (Arabic and Islamic studies are compulsory only for Qatari
Immediately after the new rule came into force, most schools began to have difficulties to comply with it due to unavailability of teaching materials on the subjects, especially Qatari History, thus prompting the SEC to come up with a trial version of the textbook last year.
It also made available books on Islamic Studies as well as Arabic language.
The council had since last year provided copies of the teaching materials to some of the private schools, which were earlier asked to book for copies and pay in advance based on the number of their students.
However, according to some of the schools, a majority of the parents have refused to purchase the study materials as they complained that the books are too expensive leaving the schools to be running into losses for accepting to sell the books.
“It is not at all profitable for us to sell these books because many of the parents claimed they are too costly and some have refused to buy copies for their children and we do not have any power to enforce them,” a British school administrator lamented while mentioning that the SEC had already collected the money from the school, the bulk pay for the textbooks, ahead of their deliveries.
“We are incurring losses because we have a huge stack of the books still available for sale while many parents are already making photocopies for their children,” added the official of the school, which started offering the Qatari History this semester.
She mentioned that the books were provided free of costs to all their Qatari
However, a representative of an Indian school said that the school was not mandated to buy the textbooks in bulk from the SEC after the school’s administration made an appeal to the
council citing lack of funds.
According to the official, the school, which just received a copy of the Qatari History textbooks for each class, had further appealed to the SEC seeking its permission to photocopy the books for their students, at least for this school year.
“When we realised that the history text is being sold for QR200 and QR76 per copy, we sought permission from the SEC to exempt us from the bulk purchase because we were not that financially buoyant at the time and we realised that some of the parents might find the book expensive, especially that it is a trial version,” a principal of an Asian school said.
This newspaper gathered from sources that some schools have agreement with some bookstores to get such expensive textbooks photocopied and the school will in turn sell these at minimal cost to the
The principal added that her school has been told in stricter terms by the education authorities that all the students must purchase the original version of the textbook from the next
academic school year.
On the other hand, the Islamic Studies textbooks are much cheaper as they are being retailed at between QR4 and QR8, depending on the grade.
A majority of the parents have refused to purchase the study materials as they complained that the books are too expensive leaving the schools to be r