Schools in Qatar
Understanding the fundamentals
Public schools in Qatar
Public schools in Qatar receive government funding and provide free tuition to all citizens. Expats may be liable to pay fees at government schools, but this varies from school to school.
The quality of education at these schools is excellent. The language of instruction at public schools is Arabic. As long as expat children are young enough to pick up the language or have an existing knowledge of Arabic, public schools are a good option for expats looking to settle down in Qatar in the long term.
International schools in Qatar
There are many international schools in Qatar, with most located in Doha. These schools offer various foreign curricula, most of which offer the British, American, French, German or Indian curricula. Many of these schools also offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. Most families choose a curriculum similar to the one in their home country, while expats who move frequently often prefer the IB curriculum.
International schools in Qatar can be a significant expense, so expats should try to negotiate school fees into their contract or ensure that they budget carefully. Besides the often pricey tuition, additional expenses can include registration fees, uniforms and excursions. Most fees are expected to be paid upfront at the beginning of the school year.
Waiting lists for spaces in schools can be long, so planning ahead and applying early is essential.
When choosing a school, expat parents need to consider the school’s location in relation to their home. Rush hour in Qatar means that children can spend hours travelling to and from school, and not all schools provide a bus service.
Expats should also ensure that their chosen school is accredited by Qatar National School Accreditation (QNSA) and recognised in their home country.