While rising school fees remain a major cause of concern for parents of schoolchildren in Qatar, a comparison of private schools here reveals wide variation in fee structure, at the same time underscoring the diversity of the school system in the country.
The more than 100 private schools in Qatar offer a wide range of curricula from kindergarten to the higher secondary level. A total of about 93,000 students are enrolled in these schools, according to figures provided by the Department of Private Education at the Ministry of Education.
The private schools fall under two broad categories — international schools and community schools. The community schools cater to different expatriate communities in the country while the international schools get students from all communities and have an international curriculum and fees that are generally higher than the other private schools.
Besides these two categories, there are several Arab private schools that follow the curriculum of the government schools in the country.
The private schools are free to decide their fees subject to approval from the Ministry of Education. It is mandatory for them to take prior permission from the Department of Private Education before effecting any hike in the fees.
The fee structures of the private schools are as diverse as the schools themselves. For instance, the annual tuition fee of the Bangladesh MHM School and College is not more than QR3,900 (QR325 per month) for the highest grade, while in the American School of Doha (ASD) it is QR58,300.
International schools are the most expensive among private schools in Qatar, though there are variations in the fees charged by them. The same is the case with schools that are categorised as “community schools.”
Asian schools account for a major chunk of the expatriate students in Qatar and have relatively low fees. A comparison of the fee structures of the Indian, Pakistani and Filipino schools shows a more or less common pattern, albeit with some differences.
Among the Indian schools in Qatar, DPS Modern Indian School, Doha Modern Indian School and Birla Public School have higher fees compared to MES Indian School, Ideal Indian School and Shantiniketan Indian School. Similarly, Bright Future Pakistani School, which follows an international curriculum, charges higher fees compared to the other two Pakistani schools — The Pakistan Education Center and Pak Shama School.
The Arab private schools are in general more expensive than the Asian schools. For instance, the annual tuition fee of the most expensive Indian school is not more than QR14,000 in the secondary classes while the same in the Lebanese School is QR20,300.
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