Over one third of students of preparatory and secondary classes, in schools operated by three different entities in Qatar, believe that their schools are not a safe place to study. The students say they are either being bullied or subjected to other negative actions in their schools.
The fourth annual “Schools and Schooling in Qatar” report released by the Supreme Education Council (SEC) said, of the total students of preparatory classes, 17 percent believe their schools are unsafe for them. Sixteen percent of the secondary class students are also worried about their safety in the classrooms. The report, which was prepared after surveying 151,050 students, said a total of 15 percent of students in the Ministry of Education, private Arabic and independent schools disagreed to the point that their school is a safe place.
Compared to the independent and Ministry of Education school students, it is the students of private Arabic schools who feel unsafe in their schools. A total of 19 percent of the private Arabic school students are worried about the safety in schools. An estimated 15 percent of the Ministry school sstudents also echoed the worries of private Arabic students.
The students feel that they are subjected to either bullying or theft at least 1.4 times in a year. The secondary and preparatory school students say they have been subjected to bullying at an average of 0.8 times. The frequency of bullying is high in private Arabic schools.
Interestingly, senior students are more worried about the insecurity of their school life rather than the juniors. The percentage of worried students in the primary classes is hardly 12 percent while the preparatory and secondary students’ rate is as high as 17 and 16 percent respectively. The report “Schools and Schooling in Qatar 2007-2008”, which provides both a snapshot about Qatar’s schools and important trend data, say a high 82 percent of parents expressed satisfaction with the education offered by the schools. Almost 80 percent of parents felt their child enjoyed their schools.
However, student absenteeism, as reported by students themselves, continue to be high with students indicating being absent from school on about 13 percent of the school days. Private Arabic schools students form the largest number of absentees and latecomers—15 and 19 percent respectively. The absent days were mainly followed by the holidays.
Regarding homework, the report says, the students of private Arabic spend the maximum hours on homework. They spend an average of 2.2 hours on homework. And Ministry of Education students devote an average of 2.2 hours a week for their homework. However, the Independent students spend only an average of 1.9 hours in a week on their homework.
However, parents say their children are spending an average of 6.2 hours in a week on homework. The parents of private Arabic school students say their children are spending 6.9 hours on homework, where as parents of children of studying in the Ministry of Education schools say their wards spend an average of 6.5 hours to do the job.
According to the parents, the students of Independent schools are devoting 5.8 hours in a week to finish their homework. The report shows the 10th and 11th grade students have made significant performance in mathematics over the past five years. The 10th grade students who made a high score of 710 during the 2004-2005 have enhanced their score to 725 in 2007-2008.
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