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11 June 2008 09:46 am

Ashghal blamed for not building enough schools

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari
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Even as a controversy is raging about the shortage of seats in the Independent Schools, several school operators have put the blame on the Public Works Authority (Ashghal ) for delaying construction of new school buildings. Ashghal had committed to hand over 40 new school buildings for the 2008-2009 academic year, but only 15 schools have been handed over so far, Al Sharq said, quoting Independent School operators. This has worsened the problem as registration of students for the next academic year is going on. Jamal Al Jaber, operator of the Khalifa Secondary School for Boys, said the number of applicants is beyond the capacity of the schools. All schools are bound by the Supreme Education Council rule that says a maximum of 25 students can be accommodated in one class. "These schools are giving top priority to Qatari students and then to non-Qataris from the area where the school is located. We have 200 students in the waiting list - 80 Qataris and 120 non-Qataris, most of them from far off areas," said Al Jaber. She said what made the problem worse was that Ashghal had delayed the handing over of new school buildings. Noora Al Musaifri, operator of Al Rifa Elementary School, said, "The admission process is well-organised and it goes according to a clear policy but mistakes have occurr