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MENAFN - Gulf Times - 08/01/2012

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(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The government of Qatar has allocated the Egyptian school a 32,000sqm plot at Abu Hamour where a purpose-built facility is expected to be ready in two years, Gulf Times has learnt.

However, the school authorities feel they would require the generous support of the Qatari government to meet the construction cost of the new building.

"We expect the generosity of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to help us meet the building expenses," Dr Ahmed Qabbari, the new principal of the school, said in an interview while expressing gratitude for the support Qatar has extended to the community throughout the years.

The Egyptian Language School in Doha has undergone a complete change of management at the senior level as a consequence of Egypt's January 25 revolution.

"People used to complain about the performance of the former school management," Dr Qabbari recalled.

"However, after the revolution, people were enthusiastic to demand change and took practical steps for it. Parents of students were keen to elect a new board of directors and the turnout for the election was unexpectedly high," he added.

The principal sees parents as the real owners of the school and he indicates that the management is actually accountable to them. The school, which has around 2,500 Egyptian students from Kindergarten to secondary school, is a private entity.

There have been recent expansions in the facilities to accommodate more students, especially from the early stages. Yet, the current building of the school has its limitations because it is rented.

Though the school is a private entity financed mainly by the fees paid by parents and does not enjoy any public funds, it is supervised by the Culture Office at the Egyptian embassy in Doha to ensure compliance with standards of the Egyptian Ministry of Education.

The school maintains the curriculum of similar institutions in Egypt with English as the language of instruction except for social studies, which is delivered in Arabic, and for Arabic language classes.
Even the textbooks come from Egypt. The Supreme Education Council (SEC) also supervises the school to ensure that it has a good educational environment for students.

An additional course of Qatari history is mandatory for all students to introduce them to the culture of the land. Almost all teachers of the school are Egyptians and the principal pointed out that the new management ensures that they are qualified in their subjects. Some teachers of French are Algerians.

Qabbari pointed out that the school maintains effective co-operation with the Qatar Scientific Club and the Childhood Culture Centre and aims at making students interact and participate positively with the events of the local community. He said that the school is looking forward for more co-operation with the local schools and the schools of other communities as this would enhance the skills of students.

Mohamed Eid, the newly elected secretary of the board, said that the school has provided them with a temporary headquarters for their activities.
The seven members of the board were elected on November 25 with an unprecedented turnout of the Egyptian community promising to offer the community real services.

Eid said that the board is planning to create a social and sports club for the members of the community and a co-operative society to give support in case of disability, sudden termination or death.

Among the board's projects are the formation of a legal committee to support the community to pursue their rights at the official entities and another committee to receive and study innovative ideas that may help in advancing Egypt.

"Currently, we are developing a website for the community to facilitate interaction among them," said Eid.

Qabbari stressed the school's efforts to organise parents' get-together at the school during weekends and public holidays. "In this way, we are updated about the needs of students and develop the school accordingly," he added.


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