Should Arabic Be Mandatory in Doha’s Expat Schools?

To that question, I say: Well, sure.

This is apparently the call from some Qatari educators and preachers, who also call for a teaching of shariah in international schools.

I can’t say I agree with Dr Ahmed Faragani, who—according to the Gulf Times—thinks that “the main hidden goal of expatriate schools is to destroy the language, history and religion of the nation and isolate the coming generation from their culture by constructing a barrier between them and the deeply rooted values of the nation.”

Indeed, I might agree that many language schools have the effect of creating socio-cultural divisions—I believe they’ve had this effect in Egypt—but I don’t think it’s a hidden goal of the current schools. (Whether it was a goal of British colonial advisors who helped erect Egypt’s tiered educational system is another question entirely.)

Meanwhile, according to The Peninsula, Qatari parents are 67 percent satisfied with the nation’s Arabic schools. The Doha-based paper reported that 62 percent of Qataris send their children to the nation’s “Independent Schools,” 16.5 percent send them to Arabic private schools, and 9.6 percent to international or “expat” schools.

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