*Ministry completes all preparations for new academic year to begin on August 27

The Ministry of Education and Higher Education is continuing with the implementation of its 2017-2022 plan that aims to develop a world class educational system, a senior official has said.

Addressing a press conference, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Dr Ibrahim bin Saleh al-Nuaimi said the five-year strategy focuses on providing suitable training for teachers to equip them to make vital contribution to society, while boosting the core values and traditions of the Qatari society at the same time.

"There are also a host of programmes the ministry is undertaking, including improving pre-school education, and linking higher education with the job market," he said.

The Ministry of Education and Higher Education is ready to start the 2018/2019 academic year on August 27, he said.

Al-Nuaimi wished the students, parents, teachers, and all the partners of the educational process success in the new academic year. He said that the ministry has already completed all the preparations for the classes to commence in the new academic year.

The total number of teachers in the public school system has now gone up to 13,440. There are 13,591 teachers in private schools.

Among the highlights of the new academic year are the opening of Qatar Science and Technology School, development of technical education and improving services for students with disabilities, and gifted students.

Al-Nuaimi said 14 schools and kindergartens will be opened in the new school year, providing more than 5065 classrooms and bringing the number of public schools and kindergartens to 272. The number of private schools and kindergartens has reached 282, with a total enrollment of 190,644 students.

In terms of higher education, al-Nuaimi noted the presence of 24 such institutions in Qatar, including universities, colleges and institutes of international status in terms of academic and research programmes and best practices.

He also stressed on the important role parents play in the educational process. "Partnership between schools and parents was one of the most effective ways to increase the academic performance of students, and one of the best ways to improve their social and behavioral levels," he pointed out.

"Students whose parents participate in education learn more quickly, become more motivated, are eager to attend school, have higher academic degrees, develop outstanding social and behavioural skills, and graduate from high school to continue their education in universities at higher rates than their peers who do not involve their parents in their education," he said.

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