- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
While no national education legal framework was identified, the Law No. 25 of 2001 Mandatory Education, which defines compulsory education, mentions both public and private schools but does not define private schools or different non-state providers. It does state that parents choosing to send their child to a private school should notify the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and ensure that the private school chosen is approved by the Ministry.
The Law No. 23 of 2015 Regulating Private Schools, like the former private schools legislation Law No. 7 of 1980 regulating Private Schools (article 2), defines private schools as every non-governmental establishment which has the mission to undertake education from kindergarten to the end of secondary school. The Law does not mention specific non-state actors, but Article 2 states that the Law excludes cultural centres or institutes in Qatar which are established by foreign countries or international organisations; educational service centres (private tutoring institutes); and educational institutions established by businesses for the purpose of technical, industrial or vocational training.
Due to the large expatriate population in Qatar, there are more non-state than state schools. In 2019-20, state/public schools accounted for approximately 39% of all schools and includes compulsory primary (6 years beginning at age 6), preparatory (3 years beginning at age 12) and secondary (3 years beginning at age 15) education. Public schools are free for Qatari children and non-Qatari children whose parents are publicly employed while non-Qatari children with parents employed in the private sector must pay tuition fees if there are available places. The curriculum in public schools is in Arabic, and almost all primary and secondary schools are single-sex schools.
According to the Cabinet’s decision during its regular meeting (19) for the year 2013, held on May 15, 2013, the acceptance of new students in government schools is of certain categories including: Qatari children, children of Qatari women and children of the citizens of other GCC countries, children of non-Qatari nationals who work in government ministries, government agencies, authorities and public institutions and children of non-Qatari people working in private charitable associations and institutions.
As for non-Qatari children with parents employed in the private sector, who are not one of the above categories, they go to private schools. In some cases, these children can enter public schools if they live in urban areas and villages where there are no private schools available. The MEHE applies an exceptions programs and guarantee admission for more than 1500 of children access to government schools yearly through the exceptions program.
Non-state managed, state schools
In the early 2000s, Qatar embarked on an ambitious program to transform its education system with the RAND Corporation. This took the form of essentially turning many state schools into charter schools, which were privately managed but state funded and overseen by the Supreme Education Council. However, in 2016 there was a reorganization of the Qatari education system, and the RAND reform was largely abandoned with the former charter schools returning to the MOE.
For the most disadvantaged, Assalam schools (5 schools) for non-Qatari children (both Arabic and non-Arabic speaking children) is managed by Education Above All Foundation. The schools are free of charge and 2 schools adopt the Qatari National Curriculum and three schools adopt the Cambridge International curriculum.. They have been created in collaboration and in partnership between the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), the Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs, the Education Above All Foundation, Qatar Charity, Qatar Social and Sports Contribution Fund, and Afif Foundation. The MoEHE provided the buildings and ensures the maintenance, security and supervision of the schools while they are operated with the support of the Education Above All Foundation. Two schools offer the Qatar National Curriculum primarily for marginalized and previously out-of-school-children from Arab ethnicities, and three schools offer the Cambridge International curriculum in English primarily for those who are from non-Arab ethnicities. However, each of the five schools are open to all ethnicities.
Non-state funded, state schools
See previous section for information on the Assalam schools.
Independent, non-state schools
The majority of schools in Qatar are non-state provision (61% of all schools), which are both for-profit and not-for-profit. A larger share of students enrolled in non-state provision are non-Qatari students, and a majority of schools are mixed sexes. In Qatar, higher paid expatriate employees in the private sector may have the tuition fees of their children paid for by the company.
International schools are considered private schools; they tend to have very high tuition fees and enroll more non-Qataris or expatriate students. They follow a variety of international curricula, which are modeled after British, Canadian or United States curricula. Qatar also has private Arabic schools. Private Arabic schools in Qatar adopt the Qatar National Curriculum, whereas Community school adopt different curriculums depending on the community it serves Arabic or non-Arabic.
Community schools are considered private as they are not funded by the Qatari government, however, they are established through the sponsorship of the embassies of foreign governments. These schools follow the curricula of the countries which sponsor them and aim to provide access to schooling to specific migrant communities, such as the French, Filipino, Indian, Pakistani, with the aim that when these children return to their home countries they will be able to integrate into the schooling system. These schools are not-for-profit, and in addition to support from the foreign government, they are funded through tuition fees which are typically lower than international or private schools.
State funded, non-state schools
To cater to children from Syria coming in the country as refugees are provided with free enrollment at the Syrian Community School on the basis of on arrival visit visa secured through immigration. The exemption allows the children to secure the enrollment at this school without securing a Qatar ID card, which is a standard policy to secure enrolment in Qatar. The same exemption is applied to all Assalam Schools as well, whereby the refugees from Syria and Yemen can secure free enrollment after issuing a temporary ID number by the Ministry of Interior. In other words, there are mechanisms in place to facilitate access to non-state schools through state entities and provisions. Contracted, non-state schools
Qatar allows home-based learning for Qatari citizens with approval from the MOEHE in the cases of extenuating circumstances, such as for health or medical reasons, and if the child reaches an age beyond compulsory schooling. Homeschooling is also an option available for non-Qatari students through Assalam Schools providing the Qatar National Curriculum. Non-Qatari citizens can homeschool their children. In a recent report, in 2019-2020 there were 6904 primary and secondary students in home education according to the Annual Education Statistics.
Special education: The public schools in Qatar as well as the Assalam Schools provide a parallel pathway to students with age-grade congruency issues i.e. those students not falling into mainstream-defined age brackets due to delayed learning or missing out on education for multiple years. The adult stream provides a flexible age bracket for each grade allowing students to enroll as per their academic level.
Under the public sector, Al Hedaya schools provide schooling with an adapted curriculum for children with Special Needs/Disabilities (including cognitive, physical, and psychological). Qatar is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 24) as of 2008. The 2017-2022 Ministry of Education and Higher Education Strategy underlines the enrolment of students with “special education needs” in equitable, quality and diverse education programs both in early childhood and in basic education.
Some state schools offer inclusive services to facilitate inclusion of children with special needs with mild to moderate disabilities where and when possible. Non-state schools are required to adhere to the guideline of inclusion of students with disabilities; however, there is minimal oversight and accountability on private schools to accept applicants with special needs.
In addition due to COVID-19, the government has closed both public and private schools and all children are to participate in distance learning. On October 2021 Student went back to school.
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
Vouchers from the government are offered to Qatari students who attend a licensed preschool and/or private school in Qatar. According to the Law No. 7 of 2012 on Educational Voucher System, the value of the voucher is QAR 28,000, which covers part or full tuition, and the school receives the funding at the start of the academic year and in January. To receive the funding, the parents of a student must submit the student’s birth certificate and a statement from their employer to confirm that they do not provide the family with an educational allowance. 117 preschools and schools accepted education vouchers for the 2021-2022 academic year.
While no information on the existence of unregistered/unrecognized schools was found, Articles 38-40 of Law 23 states that if an unauthorized private school is established, different penalties can be applied by the Ministry, including up to two years imprisonment and a fine not exceeding QR 100,000 (article 38).
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) is responsible for both state and non-state provision from kindergarten to higher education. Within the MOEHE, three key departments are responsible for non-state provision: the Private Schools Affairs Department, the Private Schools Licensing Department and the Educational Services Centers Department which is responsible for private tuition institutions. The Private Schools Affairs Department supports and monitors kindergartens and private schools, as well as addresses issues and grievances raised. Additional departments and administrative units with the MOEHE are described in the Emiri Resolution No. (9) of 2016 on the organizational structure of the MOEHE. Nurseries are now the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education under the Amiri Decision (57) 2021 setting the competencies of the Ministries.
Vision: The government of Qatar has aimed to regulate the non-state sector in education through the Law No. 7 of 1980 regulating Private Schools which has since been updated with the introduction of Law No. 23 of 2015 Regulating Private Schools. In addition, the Education Strategy (2018-2022) and the MADLSA’s strategic plan (2018-2022) aim to encourage private sector to meet the national vision and objectives set out in both plans. In higher education, the introduction of the establishment standards further aims to promote provision by the private sector.
In 2019-20, the majority of children in kindergartens are in private settings (42,441 students in private kindergarten grades 1 and 2 (KG1 and KG2), 83% of all kindergartens, compared to 8,744 in public kindergartens, an estimated 17% of all kindergartens). The majority of students in the private sector are non-Qatari (81%) while the majority of the students in the public sector are Qatari (53%). The majority of the classes in the private sector are mixed (94%) whereas in the public sector the majority are single-sex classes (99%).
Regulations referring to kindergartens are included in the Multi-level Regulations section.
Registration and approval: Both individuals and companies can apply for a licence to establish a nursery through MADLSA and the Family Affairs Department through the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The Law No. 1 of 2014 Regulating the Activities of Nursery Schools states that the applicant for a licence be at least 1 years-old, without a conviction regarding a crime involving dishonesty or breach of trust, and have a deposit of QR 100,000 for the Ministry, which will be valid for the period of the licence (Art. 6). The deposit shall be refunded when the nursery’s activity ends, and any dues are addressed. The name of the nursery should be distinct from others and approved by the Department (Art. 8).
The Law No. 1 of 2014 Regulating the Activities of Nursery Schools states that prior to obtaining a licence a nursery cannot engage in any activities, or establish, manage or change the location (Art. 5).
Licence: The Amiri Decision (57) 2021 sets the competencies of the Ministries regarding licences.
Profit-making: No information was found.
Taxes and subsidies: No information was found.
Curriculum and education standards: While no curriculum or standards were identified, Law No 1 of 2014 (Art.2) indicates certain guidelines, including that nurseries are to provide integrated care and services with the aim of providing the conditions for their skills development and talents in particular fields. These might include the creation of a sound psychological environment to develop socio-emotional skills like trust, kindness and compassion; the development of hygienic norms and habits; a focus on the child’s linguistic development; the development of the child’s senses and perceptions; and the introduction of moral and religious values. Nurseries are also responsible for the children’s health, safety and well-being (article 3).
For Kindergartens, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) has also developed an integrated curriculum for ECCE. A guide is provided for teachers regarding children’s physical development, exploration of science and math, identity development (e.g., Islamic and social studies), language in Arabic and English, and creative expression, such as through art, theatre, movement and music.
Teaching profession: Teachers in nurseries can only be females, unless the person is a visiting physician or not directly involved in the supervision of children at the nursery (Law No.1 of 2014, Art. 14). Qualifications are set by the Ministry, but some guidelines are included for those employed by the nursery, which include 1) being free of communicable and infectious disease; 2) no history of being dismissed from a previous employment due to disciplinary action; 3) have good conduct and reputation; 4) no conviction of a crime related to dishonesty or mistrust; 5) appropriate qualifications for the position occupied (Art. 15). All employees in nurseries need to be licensed by the relevant authority, and employees are also subject to the Labour Law No. 14 of 2004 on the promulgation of Labour Law.
Fee-setting: Nurseries need to disclose the tuition fees to the Ministry.
Admission selection and processes: No information was found.
Policies for vulnerable groups: No information was found.
Reporting requirements: No information was found.
Inspection: The Ministry and the Family Affairs Department supervise and control nurseries in Qatar. They and their inspectors are also responsible for ensuring nurseries comply with the Law and conditions set by the Ministry (Law No.1 of 2014, Art. 17).
Child assessment: No information was found.
Sanctions: A nursery which is found to be violating the conditions and the requirements set in the Law, the Family Affairs Department will send a warning and the nursery will have a certain period of time to address the issue (Law No.1 of 2014, Art. 18). If the issue persists or is repeated, the Ministry can deduct QR 10,000 from the bank guarantee which the nursery will have to replace in order to maintain the original amount of QR 100,000. If the issue occurs again, the Department refers it to the Minister with specific recommendations to remedy the situation.
The Minister has the right to cancel the licence, place the nursery under temporary management by the Department, or temporarily close the nursery for a period not exceeding three months or its classification can be downgraded. This decision can be appealed within 15 days to the Ministry, and the Ministry has 30 days to respond (Law No.1 of 2014, Art. 8-19).
Certain violations can be penalised by incarceration for a time not more than two years and/or a fine not exceeding QR 100,000. Violations can include establishing, managing and operating an unauthorised nursery; submitting false information; operating a nursery for a different purpose than originally stated; and transferring the licence of the nursery (Law No.1 of 2014, Art. 20). The courts may also be involved in issuing a decision to close a nursery.
Registration and approval: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Licence: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): See section on Multi-level regulations.
Profit-making: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Taxes and subsidies: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Curriculum and education standards: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Textbooks and learning materials: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Teaching profession: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Corporal punishment: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Other safety measures and COVID-19: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Fee-setting: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Admission selection and processes: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Policies for vulnerable groups: See section on Multi-level regulations.
School board: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Reporting requirements: See section on Multi-level regulations.
School inspection: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Student assessment: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Diplomas and degrees: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Sanctions: See section on Multi-level regulations.
Tertiary education in Qatar includes public higher education institutions (14 Colleges and universities), Qatar Foundation Universities (8 universities), and private higher education institutions (9 colleges and universities). Both public and Qatar Foundation institutions are linked to universities in the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries.
Registration and approval: See section below.
Licence: The MOEHE and its Higher Education Institutions Affairs Department is responsible for higher education, including the licensing and accreditation process. Institutions seeking “to be licensed must be an independent university under the supervision of a good university, or must be affiliated with or a branch of a reputable renowned university abroad, and it must apply the methods of review and self-evaluation to its resources and educational programs (p.3).” The partnership between the two universities must be maintained throughout the licence. The owners or shareholders of the independent university must receive clearance from the relevant authorities, and they must not have been convicted of a crime.
According to the Handbook on Procedures for Licensing Higher Education Institution, the licensing and accreditation application requires a motivational letter, the names of the founders and their curricula vitae, the identification of each natural person or legal personality (e.g., company); a certified copy of the company’s commercial register; the mission, objectives and programmes of the institution; financial record of the company; commitment letter from the founders; information on the academic partnership; and governance and organisational chart. A licensing fee of QR 5,000 and a bank guarantee to the MOEHE is also needed.
If the application is accepted, a feasibility study needs to be conducted by a qualified recognised expert or international consulting organisation. The feasibility study has three steps which includes providing information on 1) the academic and institutional requirements regarding academic regulations, faculty and staff, admission policies, student enrolment projections and tuition fees; 2) an analysis of the higher education challenges and opportunities in Qatar and the labour market needs and supply; and 3) an analysis of the investments and financial cost, including funding sources, project costs and risk management.
After review of the feasibility study, the Higher Education Institutions Affairs Department and the convened Licensing and Accreditation Committee can approve or reject the establishment of the institution. The Department can also defer the decision in cases where the Institution needs to provide additional responses to demonstrate requirements and conditions are met. However, for final approval a site visit is required to inspect the Institution and its facilities, and additional documents are required such as a commercial registration from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, membership certificate from the Qatar Chamber, certificate from a local bank regarding the paid capital, plans on the buildings and safety, documents regarding the partnership with the partner university, information on the academic curricula and programmes; and information on administrative and academic policies, procedures and regulations.
Regarding the facilities and equipment, key guidelines are described in the Handbook on Standards for Licensing Higher Education Institutions (Chapter VI, p. 14- 16), including specifications of the buildings and the need for the institution to have clear short- and long-term plans on the ways to maintain and upgrade the facilities so that they are in line with the mission, programme requirements and number of students.
Renewal of licensing and accreditation occurs after three years from the beginning of the first academic year and thereafter, every five years.
Profit-making: No information was found.
Taxes and subsidies: No information was found.
Curriculum and education standards: The Handbook on Standards for Licensing Higher Education Institutions, which were approved by the MOEHE, outlines the general standards for academic programs, decision-making, examinations and assessment methods (Chapter II, p.8-9). While each institution designs and presents their own academic programme with the licensing application, the teaching curriculum must have courses which meet modern and global standards, and are diverse and progressive. The courses in the academic programme of the institution must be carried out by professors with appropriate specialisations and in a professional manner. In addition, the academic programme must also have appropriate materials, equipped classrooms or laboratories, and support for students, as well as practical and field training.
New academic programmes can be added with approval and accreditation from the Higher Education Institution Affairs Department. The institution must submit a letter identifying the new programme, a feasibility study, and documents related to the partnership.
Teaching profession: Each institution is responsible for the academic and administrative policies and regulations regarding faculty and teaching staff. This includes employment policy, requirements of academic and administrative and academic staff, working conditions (e.g., terms of reference, promotions and incentives), teaching load, and codes of ethics, disciplinary actions, grievances and appeal (Chapter III, p. 10).
Fee-setting: Higher education institutions seem to be able to set their own tuition fees as part of the licensing and accreditation application, but no specific regulation on this topic was found. In addition, Qatari students can access government scholarships to study in Qatar, abroad or online.
Admission selection and processes: Higher education institutions set the student admission policy which reflect the requirements of the programs offered, and they must be approved by the Ministry. They must also set student numbers and specifications. To be admitted, there are language requirements which should reflect the language used to teach the academic programmes.
Board: The Chairperson of the Institution is responsible for the academic, financial and administrative aspects of the higher education institution. The Board of Trustees develops institutional policies and is responsible for the Institution and the appointment of the Institution’s President. The Board of Trustees is made up of members from the community and who are not shareholders or individuals with financial interest in the institution.
Reporting requirements: Every year, the higher education institution must submit a report to the Department detailing its academic, financial and administrative status. An auditable log of the continuous assessment must be kept as concrete evidence of the effectiveness of the institution. Information on the annual budget and audit reports also need to be provided to the Department.
Inspection: A specialized committee, including the Higher Education Institutions Affairs Department, is responsible for verifying the accreditation standards of Institutions and ensure their compliance. The higher education institution is responsible for the quality of its academic programmes and courses offered in Qatar and creating an evaluation system which includes continuous assessment of academic programs, students and the facilities. These systems can include creating a research unit to measure the academic, administrative or financial inputs; developing strategic plans to be reviewed on a regular basis; or using a neutral institution to evaluate the institution’s progress.
Assessment: No information was found on student assessments, but students’ academic progress and achievement need to be available through specific procedures that protect student confidentiality.
Diplomas and degrees: No information was found specific to non-state higher education institutions although there are equivalency charts. For example, students who work and live in Qatar with certificates from foreign higher education institutions must apply for an equivalency certificate.
Sanctions: If an institution violates the terms of the procedures or documents, a written warning is issued to address the violation within a specific period. If the violation continues, the registration of new students can be stopped for one year or more, or the institution is closed and the licence is withdrawn.
To end the activities of a higher education institution, approval from the Ministry is needed, and alternative seats must be available for students at an institution with equal academic value. In addition, with consent from the Ministry, the Licensing and Accreditation Committee has the authority to revoke a licence and close an Institution.
This section covers regulations of non-state educational provision from pre-primary to secondary education in Qatar. Regulations for these education levels can be found in the Law No. 23 of 2015 Regulating Private Schools and the Licensing Handbook (2019).
Registration and approval: According to Law No. 23 of 2015 (Art. 4-5) and the Ministry’s Licensing Handbook (2019), a pre-school or private school can be established by a natural or legal person, individual, or any board member of a company or partner. Further, they can be a company that is registered in Qatar or an international company that is currently not registered in Qatar. The applicant must not be an employee of the Ministry or have been convicted of any crime related to moral, dishonesty or fraud.
Licence: The MOEHE and its Private Schools Licensing Department are responsible for providing pre-schools and private schools with licences. Non-state providers or investors can apply for a licence in November and December of each year through a registration website by including the following documents: Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the applicant and contributing individuals; school organisational and educational plans; school building plans; a certificate from the Ministry of Public Health; evidence of the applicant’s financial capacity; and other relevant documents. Community schools also need a memorandum from the concerned embassy.
Additional requirements to receive approval to open a private school and apply for a licence include having a school location, building and facilities which meet the conditions set by executive regulations and that will only be used for educational purposes (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 6). The Licensing Handbook (2019) sets the specific size and capacity of the private preschools and schools, including the size of the land, its location, the size and shape of the classroom, and the distance of toilets from classrooms. The private school needs a unique name which is approved by the relevant authority (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 7). Finally, the applicant must have a bank bond that provides payment for the licensing period (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 8).
The cost for the licences depends on the type of application: for a one-stage school, the cost is QAR 5,000 (USD 1,373.25); for a multiple-stage school, the cost is QAR 8,000 (USD 2,197.20); and for a renewal, the cost is QAR 3,000 (USD 823.95). The Minister shall issue a decision determining the fees for issuing and renewing the licence.
If approved, the licence is valid for not less than one year and not more than five years depending on the educational stage in which the private school will operate and its capabilities (Law No. 23 of 2015, Art. 9). The licence may be renewed for another similar duration after verifying compliance with the conditions stipulated in this law and its relevant regulations. The licence cannot be waived or transferred without the approval of the Ministry and verification that the third part meets set requirements and conditions for a licence (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 11). Additional guidance on licensing of private preschools and schools can be found in the Licensing Handbook (2019).
WASH: Requirements on infrastructure and safety are included as part of the licence application (see Law 23 of 2015 and the Ministry’s Licensing Handbook). In addition to the MOEHE’s supervisory role, the Ministry of Public Health supervises health-related aspects of the private preschools and schools (Art. 22).
Profit-making: Any revenues made by the school can be deposited in a special account in a local bank, and information regarding the budget and the account are shared with a competent authority (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 30). However, private schools cannot receive any funding or donations, unless they receive written approval from the MOEHE (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 23).
Taxes and subsidies: No information was found on specific taxes provided to non-state schools, but the MOEHE can provide private schools with financial and in-kind assistance to help them carry out their educational mission (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 23).
Curriculum and education standards: The Private Schools Affairs Department is responsible for monitoring and approving “the delivery of curricula and its relevant resources, following up on the educational plans” (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 17). The MOEHE sets the curriculum standards for math, science, English, Arabic, and Islamic studies for all public kindergarten to secondary schools, and it can obligate a private school to add an academic subject which is in accordance with the regulations (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 18). All private schools must provide Qatari History from grades 1-9, following the MOEHE’s curriculum. With support from the MOEHE, private schools following the Qatari National Curriculum must provide Arabic and Islamic Studies following the national curriculum. Community and International schools must provide Arabic for all Qatari and Arab students while non-Arabic speaking students can take Arabic as an elective. Islamic studies in community and international schools must be provided for all Muslim students. Teacher qualifications and study hours are further specified in the Licensing Handbook (2019).
Textbooks and learning materials: The Private Schools Affairs Department is responsible for ensuring private schools use the latest pedagogical methods. Textbooks and all educational resources must align with the religious values and customs of the society, and if they do not the curricula or textbooks can be suspended, amended or cancelled (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 19). The school will receive notice with a time limit on the changes to be made.
Teaching profession: The MOEHE is responsible for the recruitment, licensing, training and support of public school teachers. Individuals working in a private school need to be older than 18 years of age and have the qualifications and conditions to carry out the position. Additional requirements are set under the executive regulations which determine the other conditions and qualifications that must be met by the director of a private school and the workers in its administrative and teaching staff.
Corporal punishment: While there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in the law, it is prohibited in schools according to the Code of Conduct for schools and a Ministerial Decree 2001. In addition, Qatar and all competent authorities have implemented the Convention on the Rights of the Child of the UNICEF, according to Decree No. (35) of 2010.
According to Article 4 of the Law No. 7 of 1980 Regulating Private Schools, boys and girls cannot be permitted to mix in Arabic private schools, except in nurseries or kindergartens.
Fee-setting: Law 23 of 2015 (Art. 24) requires schools to provide a list of all school fees and expenses that it will collect from students in order to receive approval prior to publication. Fees or expenses cannot be increased without the approval of the Ministry and according to their regulations. Any additional fees or expenses collected from students which is not on the list approved by the Ministry must be returned or funds are removed from the bank guarantee submitted as part of the licensing application.
Admission selection and processes: The management of the affairs of private schools under the MOEHE set out the Guidelines for the admission of students into private schools in the State of Qatar for private preschools and schools. Each school can have their own registration procedures which must abide by the Ministry’s regulations (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 16), and these procedures must be published. The Guidelines establish the different requirements needed by the school to carry out the registration process which includes an identification card or valid passport, birth certificate and valid residency permit for non-Qataris, etc. Schools must inform the Ministry of the vacancies before and after the registration period. During this registration period, parents select a school and register their child. Information on schools is available through an official website or portal which includes information on tuition fees, curriculum, etc.
Policies for vulnerable groups: No information was found. There is a growing number of students with disabilities and special learning needs that are admitted in private schools. The department of Private School’s Affairs in the MEHE is monitoring the quality of the services provided to these groups as new policies and regulations are being developed.
Board: The director of the school or school principal must have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in school administration or 10 years’ experience in the education field and 5 years in school administration; and a university degree. Additional requirements regarding the qualifications of the director of the school are set under the executive regulations. Article 21 of Minister of Education and Higher Education Decision No. 40 of 2017 regarding the executive regulations of Law No. 23 of 2015 also stipulates that the one who works as a school principal in private schools must not be less than thirty years old and not more than fifty-five years old upon appointment. The Minister may, in accordance with the requirements of the public interest, make an exception from the age requirement stipulated in the previous paragraph.
No information on school boards could be found.
Reporting requirements: Private schools must provide the documents, data and questionnaires requested by the MOEHE. Each school must have a database of information regarding their students, administration, teaching and additional files and records related to their financial and administrative affairs (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 20 and 25).
Inspection: The MOEHE is responsible for undertaking the supervision, monitoring, inspection and follow-up of private schools, including related to the building and education provided (Art. 22). The Private Schools Affairs Department can monitor the school during the first year of operation and inspected before the end of the first year of operation (Licensing Handbook, 2019). They are also authorised to investigate the owner of the licence or any employee of a private school (Art. 31; additional details regarding the process and outcomes of an investigation are detailed in Articles -32-36). Private schools must follow the requirements set by the Ministry to evaluate their performance and educational processes (Art. 20). In addition, all schools have to meet the standards set by the Qatar National School Accreditation initiative (2011) which is monitored by the MOEHE.
Assessment: Private schools must take part in international student assessments (e.g., PISA, PIRLS and TIMSS) or other programmes when requested and directed by the MOEHE. Students in private schools which follow the Qatari national curriculum, should also participate in the MOEHE’s national tests on Arabic and Islamic Studies.
Diplomas and degrees: According to Article 27 of Law 23, certificates granted to students in private schools must be approved by the Ministry. Most recently, the MOEHE has set the conditions regarding equivalence of the certificate twelfth grade students receive in private schools, including those in schools following the International Baccalaureate, a British methodology or a French curriculum (Art. 1-3). The Law No. 11 of 2021 also details the conditions and controls for equating the twelfth grade certificate for students who transferred from abroad (Art. 5). Conditions have also been set for schools that offer certificates that are not accredited by international organisations and exam boards.
Sanctions: Within at least five months of the closure date, the proprietor can terminate the licence at the request of the person with the licence, and all financial and administrative obligations must be settled with key school stakeholders (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 14).
The Ministry or the relevant authority can revoke a licence in cases where the licensing conditions have not been followed, such as if the school fails to open the private school within a given time period or if the school is found to contradict the values and customs of the society. The school is given a warning and a registered letter is submitted. The school may have some or all materials, in-kind benefits grants provided by the state taken away; a whole or part of the ban guarantee deducted; the Ministry assumes financial and administrative control of the school for a specific period of time, not exceeding the end of the year; or the school’s licence is cancelled (Law 23 of 2015, Art. 37).
Articles 38-41 of Law 23 of 2015 stipulates various penalties private schools can be faced with in the following situations. If a private school is established without a licence or uses curriculum, textbooks or materials not approved by the Ministry, the person can face up to two years imprisonment and a fine not exceeding QR 100,000 (Art. 38). If a school provides incorrect data or places incorrect data on the front of the school, the employee or the person holding the licence can be fined for an amount not exceeding QR 100,000 (Art. 39). A school found in
violation can be closed on a temporary basis for a period not exceeding 60 days, but this decision can be appealed to the Minister within five days of notice of decision. The Minister has 10 days to decide on the grievance.
Private tutoring in Qatar is carried out in many private education centres across the country which offer remedial classes; subject specific classes, such as foreign language, arts and others. In addition, uncontracted, individual private tutoring typically carried out in the home is an important part of private tutoring in Qatar for primary and secondary students, but it is unregulated and considered illegal, according to Law No. 23 of 2015.
While no official statistics on the size of the regulated and unregulated private tutoring sector was found, data from SESRI - Qatar University (2015) suggests a growing sector with about 36% of secondary students using private tutors, and this share is even higher in Abu Dhabi (47%). Private tutoring is also increasingly used by those who can afford it, suggesting equity challenges.
The MOEHE sets the regulations for investors and businesses to establish and operate a private education centre. Law No. 18 of 2015 on Regulating the Practice of Educational Services (Art. 5) indicates that the applicant for the licence to establish a private education centre must present a proof of payment of a bank guarantee from one of the local banks, and indicate that the guarantee is valid for payment in full value throughout the validity period of the licence. The Minister may, upon the proposal of the competent authority, exempt from submitting this guarantee or part of it if the public interest so requires. The Minister determines the bank guarantee amount, the cases for exemption and ways it can be recovered. The Education Centers Department within the MOEHE supports and guides private education sector providers through these processes and those that they must follow to meet business requirements with relevant competent authorities.
Any natural or legal person is not permitted to provide educational services unless a licence from the competent authority has been obtained (Law No. 18 of 2015, Art. 3). According to Law No. 23 of 2015, education service providers who are not under the supervision of the MOEHE can face severe fines and penalties.
No information could be found on financial operations (e.g., regulations on fee setting, profit-making, and taxes and subsidies). However, the Educational Services Centers Department within the MOEHE is responsible for monitoring education centres across the country. Standards have been set to ensure quality, but the regulation could not be identified.
Similar to teachers in private schools, those who work in the educational centre must meet the following conditions: not be less than 18 years-old, have the qualifications and conditions required to carry out the position, be of good conduct and reputation, not have a final judgment issued against him/her in a crime involving dishonour or trust, not have been dismissed due to a judicial ruling or a final disciplinary decision (unless a year has passed), have proof of medical fitness (Law No. 18 of 2015, Art. 17). The Minister may also add conditions deemed necessary, in accordance with the requirements of the public interest.
This profile was reviewed by the Al Qasimi Foundation, Salwa Al-Mannai (Head of Policy and Research – EAA), Dr. Maha Al-Hajri (Head of Strategic Planning Section – MOEHE) and Najla Almaadeed (Head of Quality Section – MOEHE).