The Ministerial Group for the encouragement and participation of the private sector in the economic development projects of Qatar, chaired by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, has announced that 116 bids have been submitted by investors to compete for 11 land lots for the construction and operation of private schools.
This follows a tender invitation and examination of the eligibility of the bids for consideration. The evaluation of the offers and interviews is being conducted pending the announcement of the winning bidders of the competitive tenders.
The land project for the construction of private schools is part of similar projects in a number of sectors that Qatar plans to launch on the directives of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to provide quality education for everyone in the country. The project is expected to offer 12,000 seats for students of different grades and levels with a view to meet the increasing present and future demands for education.
In a statement, Hassan Abdullah al-Mohamedi, director, public relations and communication department at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, said the distribution of land vouchers in various regions took into consideration population density growth and cultural diversity in conformity with the set guidelines of the State's future development plan.
Al-Mohamedi noted that 10 investors are competing for winning a bid for construction and operation of one school in the area of Umm Qarn, with a priority of the American educational curriculum, another private school in Rawdat al-Hamam area (16 investors) with a priority of the national curriculum for girls, and a third private school in al-'Ab area (20 investors) while priority is given to the Filipino or Indian curriculum.
One private school is allocated in the al-Thameed area, which is contested by 13 investors with priority for the British curriculum, while another private school is allocated in Sumaisma area (10 investors) with priority to either the national or British curriculum. Eighteen investors are competing for two private schools in Al Khor region and four private schools are allocated in Al Wukair area (29 investors) with priority given to the national curriculum, Egyptian, Indian and American curricula.
Considering the importance of investors’ and stakeholders' opinions on the project, the Ministerial Group earlier conducted a survey through the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education during the period from November 15 to December 15, 2016. The survey also aimed at developing clear perceptions on the mechanisms of land allocation for such projects.
The survey paved a ground of transparency between the government and private sectors and a key element for the development of the general policies of the project, preparation of the documents related to the call for tenders, and understanding the criteria for evaluating the tenders, the Ministerial Group said in a statement yesterday.
Earlier in May, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce organised a workshop for investors on the creation and operation of private schools. The workshop reviewed the procedures for the submission of tenders and the technical requirements for the development and operation of the project as well as briefing the investors about the procedure and standards adopted for the evaluation of the tenders.
In this context, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education said that the high demand of investors to invest in the education and training sector is due to Qatar National Vision 2030 and its clear objectives, the informed political will and support of the State towards the education and training sector, as well as the high annual budget for the education sector, amounting to 10.4% of the total expenditures for the fiscal year 2017. Confidence among investors towards Qatar's diverse and dynamic economy achieving high growth rates despite the conditions of the blockade is yet another reason behind investing in the sector of education and training.
The ministry pointed out that the increasing demand for public education is caused by the increase in population rates, as Qatar has become a professional attraction for residents of different nationalities working for entities that offer a number of advantages, including education of children, which encouraged investors to invest in private education. Besides, the ranking of Qatar as the world's top fifth place in terms of quality education and 11th in the index of school Internet connectivity, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 20162017 published by the World Economic Forum in Davos and other indicators have played an important role in attracting investors. The facilities provided by Qatar to the private sector for investment, namely customs exemptions, exemption from electricity and water bills, granting land for incentive fees and the provision of educational resources and vouchers to Qatari students to broaden their school choices for optimal academic are yet other reasons that encourage investment in education.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education stresses that the education and training sector is capable of shifting to knowledge-based economy through human development. It is one of the four pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030 covering half the number of students across Qatar with 23 educational curricula. The sector is in line with the role of the private sector in the realisation of development projects. (QNA)
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