The Ministry of Education and Higher Education, represented by the Academic Guidance Section at the Department of Educational Guidance in the Education Affairs Sector, has launched an initiative to encourage middle school students to enrol in scientific and technological disciplines.
This will be done through the development of a professional academic guidance system that involves preparing various programmes aimed at motivating and preparing students (8th and 9th grades) to join the targeted scientific disciplines, Qatar News Agency reports.
The pilot phase of the initiative is being implemented for 6,000 male and female students in 10 schools (five boys' and five girls') under the supervision of the academic and vocational guidance section.
The initiative is carried out under the supervision of Assistant Undersecretary for Education Affairs Fawzia al-Khater, in co-operation and co-ordination with a group of partners, including universities and educational and professional institutions.
This was announced during an extended meeting held by the ministry with the initiative's partners. Moza al-Mudahka, director of the Educational Guidance Department in the Educational Affairs Sector, who is responsible for the initiative, welcomed the partners, indicating its centrality in educating students about the importance of scientific and technological disciplines for meeting the needs of the labour market, thus achieving the goals and objectives of Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030.
Al-Mudahka stressed that the general framework of the national educational curriculum of Qatar provided the basis for the development of multiple tracks for students in the secondary education stage, which meet the needs of all students with different levels of abilities and the diversity of their tendencies and interests.
The updated education plan includes three tracks for students at the secondary level that meet the economic, social and cultural aspirations of Qatar, as mentioned in QNV2030 and the National Development Plan.
The initiative's partners include Qatar University, Injaz Qatar, University Foundation College, Oryx University - Liverpool John Moores Qatar, Weill Cornell Medicine, University of Calgary, Texas A&M University, University of Aberdeen, Hamad Medical Corporation, College of the North Atlantic, Qatar Career Development Center, Qafco and the British Council.
Fawzia al-Malki, deputy director of the academic and vocational guidance section, underlined the importance of the initiative in developing a professional academic guidance system for the preparatory stage to increase the number of students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in public or private schools that follow the national curriculum.
Fadi al-Laham, educational adviser at the academic and vocational guidance section, said the general objective of the initiative is to educate students about the importance of the scientific and technological tracks to meet the needs of the Qatari labour market and the country's need for various branches of scientific and technological disciplines, and not just medicine and engineering.
Dhaher al-Askar, an academic guidance specialist in the guidance section, confirmed that an integrated plan has been prepared for all middle school students included in the initiative, implemented by specialists from the academic and vocational guidance section and academic advisers in secondary and middle schools, to educate students and their parents about the importance of enrolling in scientific and technological tracks.
The initiative aims to develop a professional academic guidance system for the preparatory stage to help the students discover their abilities, academic capabilities, preparations and professional tendencies, plan their educational path and professional future to achieve academic, personal and social compatibility, and raise awareness of scientific disciplines and technological professions, which increases employment and
localization rates in the work sectors as a result of activating principles of professional guidance and raising the efficiency of outputs.
For the success of the initiative, the academic and vocational guidance section will develop a policy for academic and vocational guidance in the preparatory stage to increase the number of students enrolled in the STEM disciplines.
A co-ordinator responsible for each school has been assigned to act as an academic adviser and a link between the section, partners and the school to fully coordinate the performance of this initiative and ensure its success.