Education is the passport to the

future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today!

 

After a five years long gap I got the opportunity to spend some time in Qatar. At my surprise most of the things have been changed and there are positive developments and prospects all around. It is clearly visible that Qatar has started investing a large portion of its hydrocarbon revenues in human capital. The state has began targeting its education sector for reform over a decade ago, recognizing that its development would be key to diversifying the economy and meeting the objectives mapped out in the long-term strategy, known as the Qatar National Vision 2030.

A couple of years back, H.H. Emir Tamim container Hamad Al Thani endorsed a record spending plan of $62 billion expanding the designation of assets for education by 7.3% as contrasted with the previous year. As indicated by The Word Bank, this is one of the most elevated allotments in the MENA locale. Qatar’s open consumptions on education contribute to 3.3% of its GDP and this increment will be incompletely dispensed for extension of Qatar Foundation and Qatar University offices. Assets will likewise go towards building 85 new schools and to cover the costs of 29 which are right now under development. The principle objective of the Government of Qatar (GOQ) is to put resources into balanced and drew in residents arranged to help the country sooner rather than later.

The private division is likewise assuming an inexorably vital part in giving education services, especially at the essential and auxiliary levels, with private schools catering the most part to the ostracize populace and an expanding number of Qatari nationals.

By law, the Government of Qatar gives free education at the primary and secondary level. The Higher Education Institute (HEI) working under the Supreme Education Council, grants skilled youthful Qatari students full grants for undergrads and graduate projects in colleges around the globe. It is upon the discretion of the students who may choose from a rundown of 346 American colleges.

An aggregate of 1,420 Qataris considered in the United States amid the 2016-2017 school year. This is an extensive number for a populace just the measure of 2.1 million where expats constitute well more than 80%.

The choices are not just restricted to colleges abroad. Qatar Foundation (QF) is a noteworthy vehicle for education with its lead venture, a 2,500 section of land grounds known as “Education City,” that is home to the accompanying six American Universities which includes Weill-Cornell Medical College (medicine);Carnegie Mellon University (computer science, business);Georgetown School of Foreign Service (political science and international affairs);Virginia Commonwealth University (design); Texas A&M University (engineering) and Northwestern University (journalism).

Moreover, QF has implemented the Academic Bridge Program (ABP) in Education City which prepares Qatari high school graduates for universities in Qatar or abroad. Students receive training for the IELTS, TOEFL, SAT and ACT. In addition, QF launched its own scholarship program supported by local companies. The program focuses on long-term employment needs by sponsoring trainees to study in Qatar and overseas, in countries like the United States, UK, France, Germany and Australia.

As per most recent accessible report from Qatar Statistics Authority, there were almost twice the same number of female students selected in colleges in Qatar as compared to males, and about 66% of all graduates were ladies. While expat and Qatari females are still more inclined to select in and graduate with college degrees here, their male partners still outflank them with regards to achievement in business. With regards to facilitating their instruction, female Qatari understudies were significantly more prone to stay in Qatar than to accept up abroad open doors, reflecting national traditions and customs.

A total of 370 university students were awarded international scholarships in 2011-12 – with 80% of these (295) going to male students and just 20% (75) taken up by female students. Management and economics was the most popular field of study for those international scholarship students, with 183 of them choosing it for further study. This was followed by arts and science (82 students) and engineering for 67 students.

Qatar is working to develop an appropriate environment for its nationals, to acquire necessary skills applicable to key sectors of the economy. In this regard, the GOQ launched a “Qatarization strategy” designed to increase the number of Qatari nationals in all joint venture industries and government departments to assume important positions formerly occupied by expatriates. Despite the many educational options, the sector is striving to keep up with increasing market demand. The arrival of foreign professionals with their families, in an effort to meet the deadlines of projects set by the National Vision 2030 and the World Cup 2022, add significant pressure to the education system. The population has more than doubled since 2004 and more institutions are needed to cope with growing demand. The Government is conscious of the situation and the Supreme Education Council is making a concerted effort to promote the establishment of top international institutions.

In order to conclude, education is considered to be the backbone of any nation to develop. Qatar has rightly focused and implemented the strategies for its improvement as it will help create alliance for its population at large with enterprises and global world. I am hopeful that someday Pakistan understands the real worth of spending in education sector especially creating more avenues for women education development. As a good educated women can help in shaping better children and a prosperous society.

 

The writer is a Master Trainer/Advisor at the Pakistan Industrial Technical Assistance Centre Lahore, under the Federal Ministry of Industries and Production, Islamabad.