Schooling in Doha
The growth of the economy in Qatar and its expanding expatriate population has put tremendous pressure on many of the popular schools which are operating at or slightly above capacity. It is advisable to register for a place as soon as you can before arriving in Qatar, as school classes are limited to 30 children per class by law. Many schools here accept applications a year in advance from when you want to start and also require students to complete an entrance exam plus reports and results from previous schools.
There are 185 private schools within Qatar of which 24 belong to foreign communities and are overseen by the embassies of those countries. A total of 95,503 students are enrolled in private schools here of which only 18% are Qatari nationals.
Most schools here for expatriate children are Private, so fees are usually met by the employer or else the parents. Also the fees for schools increase depending on the level of education provided, so by the end of secondary level they will be alot higher than primary. The school year is split into three terms and fee’s as paid at the start of each term. Obviously depending on your choice of school, fees will vary but you are looking roughly at around 20,000 QAR per annum for Primary and 30,000QAR for Secondary. A registration fee which is non refundable is usually paid when either putting in your application form or when the child is accepted and given a school place.
School days here usually start between 7 – 8am and end between 12 – 2.30pm again depending on your school of choice. Most schools provide a short break for snack time rather than a full lunch hour as they would do back home! School holidays vary from school to school but in addition to Qatari public holidays such as EID, they tend to have two weeks in Winter over Christmas and New Year, a couple of days to a week in February and then one to two weeks in the Spring term around Easter and two months in the Summer. The academic school year here runs from September through to June.
Schools here are not usually situated within walking distance of your accommodation but schools usually provide a bus service which can add up to an hour each way onto your childs school day. Although many parents who work either hire a private driver or set up a car pooling system with other parents who live in the same area.
Parents would be advised to consider the curriculum of their choice just incase they should move to another country or return home.
For more information:
List of Schools in Doha