The tentative beginnings of education in Qatar
were in the first half of the twentieth century
when boys and girls were taught in the traditional
‘katateeb’ schools. They were taught
many subjects but without a formal system. Since
those early days, education in Qatar has made
great leaps and developed into a system of education
reaching all the way to highest stages. Qatar
follows a policy of compulsory and continuous
education where all citizens receive free schooling
reflecting the country’s identity and providing
equal opportunities to all.
In 1985, the literacy rate in Qatar was estimated
to be about 74%. By 2000 the literacy rate had
reached an estimated 81%.
Elimination of Illiteracy
The first centre for adult education and the
elimination of illiteracy was established in 1954.
Regular classes were started in 1956 when there
were seven schools with 614 students. Two ladies
centres were opened in 1976. Illiterate students
were given four years of elementary schooling
after which they were granted their literacy certificates.
In the past such students were also given incentive
allowances of QR150 per month. The Ministry of
Education and Culture takes care to ensure the
subjects studied are appropriate to the emotional
needs of the students and that those given to
female students are directly relevant to women’s
Latest statistics indicate that illiteracy in
Qatar has declined in recent years. Statistics
for 1997 show that illiteracy for Qataris over
10 years old is 13.6%, 8.6% for males and 18.4%
Qatar follows a policy of compulsory
education until the end of the elementary stage
and free education to all citizens. Basic education
consists of the following stages,
Elementary Stage: Six years
Preparatory Stage: Three years
Secondary Stage: Three years
The country has 113 elementary schools; 60 for
boys and 53 for girls, 56 preparatory schools;
28 for boys and 28 for girls, and 41 secondary
schools; 19 for boys and 22 for girls. Government
schools provide free education for the children
of non-Qatari residents who work for the public
sector. Qatar also has private schools as well
as schools for the different Arab communities
like the Lebanese, Jordanian and Sudanese schools
plus those for non-Arab communities like the Indian,
American and other schools.
The curricula of the Primary and intermediate
cycles emphasise basic literacy and numeracy skills.
The Secondary cycle focuses on preparing students
for University, technical or vocational training,
or for joining the workforce directly.
For a comprehensive list of Schools K-12 (KG-12) in QATAR
University education in Qatar
started in the seventies when two colleges of
education, one for male and one for female students,
were established in 1973.
The Qatar Foundation was established in 1995 by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. His wife, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, is the organization’s chairperson and driving force. Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development aims to support Qatar on its journey to a knowledge economy by unlocking human potential.
P.O. Box 5825
Phone: + 974 492 7000
Fax: +974 480 1971
Qatar Foundation - Animation by Zaina Salameh - NUQ Student
An Amazing and Creative Video About Qatar Foundation by Zaina Salameh (A student from Northwestern University in Qatar)
MIT 395 Computer Animation 3D
Program in Media Industries and Technologies,
Northwestern University in Qatar
Instructor - Muqeem Khan
The new campus for Qatar
University was officially inaugurated in 1985.
The university consists of the following seven
Faculty of Education / Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences / Faculty of Science / Faculty of Islamic Studies / Faculty of Administration and Economics Faculty
of Engineering / Faculty of Technology
P.O. Box 2713
Telephone: +974 485 2222
Fax: +974 483 5043
All the above faculties have branches in the
male and female student sections with the exception
of the Faculty of Engineering, which is available
to male students only. The academic staff have
a large number of specialists from Qatar, all
Arab countries and some foreign countries. The
university has more than eight thousand students.
A large number of Qataris, particularly male
students, attend universities outside the state.
Universities in the USA and UK, in particular,
have a large number of Qataris studying for higher
The Supreme Education Council grants a large number of scholarships to enable
these students to obtain the highest degrees from
the best universities.
The Graduate Employment Committee comprises a number
of senior officials whose job is to integrate and
absorb the number of Qatari university graduates
into various government bodies and other businesses
The committee's main concern is to ensure optimum
use of the graduates and their knowledge so they
can best contribute to development and progress.
Training and Vocational Development
In 1962 the Department of Training and Vocational
Development was set up to help supply the country's
demand for skilled and semi-skilled labour. The
aim is to qualify and train Qatari workers and
technicians. In addition to several training centres,
a regional training centre was also established
in 1970 with the help of the United Nations Development
This centre comprises special workshops and installations
to accommodate training in the following fields:
mechanics, air-conditioning and refrigeration,
welding and industrialization, carpentry and decoration,
filing and turnery, power-generation and water
distillation, in addition to two sections for
sanitary and electrical installations.
The centre also trains female Qataris in the
fields of modern clerical and secretarial work
in school administration.
English Language Teaching
In Qatari schools and colleges, all subjects
are taught in the Arabic language. English is
taught as a foreign language in common use in
the country. The Ministry of Education and Culture
has decided to commence English language teaching
from the start of the elementary stage.
Training of primary/basic school teachers:
Primary school teachers are trained at the Faculty
of Education of the Qatar University, which provides
an eight-semester programme in elementary education,
made up of a four-semester programme leading to
a Certificate in Elementary Education and a further
four-semester programme leading to a Bachelor's
Degree in Education.
Training of secondary school teachers:
Secondary school teachers are trained at the Faculty
of Education of the Qatar University, which provides
eight semester programmes leading to a Bachelor
of Arts and Education and a Bachelor of Science
and Education in literary and scientific specializations.
A General Diploma in Education is conferred after
a 36 credit hour programme for in-service teachers
who do not have a university degree in education.
A Special Diploma in Education is also conferred
at postgraduate level.
Training of higher education teachers:
Higher education teachers are trained at the Faculty
of Education of the Qatar University, which conducts
workshops and seminars in instructional design
and development of courses, methodology and strategies
of teaching and student evaluation.
Non-traditional higher education studies:
Non-formal studies are offered at the Faculty
of Education, which provides evening programmes
leading to a General Diploma in Education and
a Special Diploma in Education. The Faculties
of Science and Engineering conduct professional
Name of secondary school
credential required: Thanawaya Aam Qatari
Minimum score/requirement: 60% in the scientific
track and 65% in the literary track. For admission
to the Engineering Faculty, students must obtain
60% or more or a general or religious secondary
Certificate (Sciences) with a minimum average
of 75% or above.
Foreign Students Admission
Quotas: 10 to 25% of places are reserved for
Admission requirements: Foreign students should
have a High School Certificate or a recognized
equivalent. Applications should be made to the
Academic Registrar, University of Qatar, at least
six months in advance. Foreign students admitted
on a scholarship are granted welfare services.
Entry regulations: Visas, residence permits and
health papers are required.
Most foreign universities and Colleges require a good knowledge of English.
At some government universities a good knowledge of Arabic maybe required. Sometimes foreign students undertake
a year of Arabic before admission.
Foreign Students must check with the individual University or College regarding their Admission policies.
Al-Amal School for Boys and Al-Amal School for Girls had been estatblished to provide special needs students with Islamic guidance to help them become good citizens and offer them the chance to achieve optimum physical, mental, emotional and social growth.
There are several newly established schools hosting various services for Special Needs Students.