What is the problem we are addressing?
Education certainly determines the quality of an individual’s life and therefore, the quality and development of a community and ultimately a nation. However, the education system in any country is sometimes overloaded with policies and routines, which would alter the role of a teacher from that of a leader in the classroom into that of an employee performing a mundane task, with no ability of having a positive impact on the student’s education or values. Teach For Qatar was established to be a part of a solution to the challenges being faced by Qatar’s students.
Teach For Qatar plays an important role in addressing some of the educational challenges in Qatar, including:
- Shortage of local teachers: Teaching is not currently considered a top career choice in Qatar and is undervalued by society as a profession, which means there is a low reinvestment of top graduates into the education system. However, this is something that Teach For Qatar is actively seeking to address by reinvesting top local graduates and professionals into the education system through the Leadership Journey, which also aims to promote the value of teaching and its importance to realizing the Human Development Pillar of the QNV 2030.
- Low student motivation and engagement in the classroom. A 2012 study on K-12 education in Qatar conducted by the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SERSI) revealed that: 50 percent of the students at independent schools say they feel bored “most of the time” at school. Another 41 percent of students at Independent schools either strongly or somewhat agree that they do not put their maximum effort into studying. A count of four indicators representing poor student motivation – being bored in school, not putting maximum effort into studying, being absent from school, and being late for school – reveals that 36 percent of the students in independent schools exhibit chronic motivation problems. For this reason, Teach For Qatar Fellows address the issue of low student engagement in the classroom and the lack of interest in the subject matter by teaching the curriculum in new and creative ways.
What is our solution?
Teach For Qatar is a non-for-profit organization, which selects and trains young leaders to empower passionate individuals to become transformational leaders in the classroom, school and community. Teach For Qatar Fellows are passionate individuals who are committed to making a positive impact on their students by delivering the curriculum in an engaging and creative way, and introducing modern tools and techniques into their teaching.
Teach For Qatar hand-picks graduates and professionals who wish to give back to the country by positively impacting student learning, whether nationals or residents, by providing them the opportunity to inspire students through full-time employment in one of its partner government schools. Teach For Qatar provides technical and leadership training for the candidates that allows the Fellows to excel as beginner teachers, and have an impact on the students’ values and mindset. Fellows have not only introduced different and new techniques of teaching but have also built strong relationships with the students, which helped to cultivate a safe and nurturing environment in class. Students became motivated to learn and started to value education. By placing inspiring individuals who have left their careers in fields such as aviation, engineering, medicine and finance, to give back to Qatar we are able to motivate the younger generation to excel academically to pursue a career.
An overview of our impact
Teach For Qatar Fellows have had a great impact not only on the students they taught in class, but on their co-workers as well. The key here is passion; all Fellows love what they are doing with the students. They chose to be teachers; they chose to go into classes and interact with students. Therefore, the impact they are able to have is great. Most, if not all, students became responsible for their learning throughout the year. Some have changed from disengaged students to the willingness to learn. Some showed a huge improvement academically as students started to think differently, respect their teachers and each other. Some established relationships with their teachers, by sharing some of their personal issues or goals.
Teach For Qatar has strategic partnerships with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Foundation, Exxon Mobil Qatar, Qatar National Bank. It is the 32nd member of the Teach for All Network, recognized in 2013 as one of the world’s 100 strongest NGOs by the Global Journal.
Examples of implementation
- Dana Obaidan, a Qatari English teacher, teaches grades 5 and 6 in a primary school. Dana was able to raise the academic performance of her students during her second year of teaching by x percent. Dana is committed to her students and works hard to support and provide extra help to those students who need extra help. Dana has achieved the highest academic achievement with her students compared to all the English teachers in her school.
- Fatima Abo Helega, a Qatari Math teacher, is an engineer who decided to spend two years in the Teach for Qatar program, giving back to her country. She was able to help make Math classes interesting and exciting. She developed the theme of “Aviation” in her classes, where students need to complete missions to reach the next level; Fatima was able to improve her students’ performance and build their mindset through her fun classes.
What are our future goals?
Our goals as Teach For Qatar, are to continue working on our mission, by investing in our young talents and supporting the education system through the development of transformational leaders. Working on our vision and mission, would help us build a stronger community of high achievers and therefore, help achieve Qatar 2030 vision. In addition to this, one goal is to have a wider impact on the community by providing examples of successful teachers’ stories and offering training to those who are eager to learn.
How can someone else implement it? What do they need?
Teach For Qatar provides graduates and professionals the opportunity to join its two-year Leadership Journey by applying through Teachforqatar.org
- The Fellowship provides Fellows the opportunity to give back to Qatar and the community not only through teaching, but by empowering them as role models for the new generation.
- The Fellowship allows Fellows to affect tangible change within the classroom – the results of which are evident in each individual students’ development.