Independent school staff get hefty raise in Qatar

source: thepeninsulaqatar.com

DOHA: Close on the heels of the recent pay hike for Qatari government employees, the government has announced a major hike in the pay and perks of Independent school teachers, operators and other staff.

The revised salary structure, effective from September 1, 2011, is expected to attract more nationals to the teaching profession.

Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani approved the new human resource regulations governing the administrative and academic staff of the Independent schools.

According to the new regulations, the basic salary of an Independent school teacher in the lowest grade (seventh grade) starts at QR14,400 and goes up to QR19,200. The basic salary of a teacher in the highest grade (first grade) ranges from QR40,000 to QR48,000.

Teachers have been divided into seven grades according to their qualification and experience, while there are 13 grades for the administrative staff.

The minimum basic salary for an administrative employee in the lowest grade (13th grade) has been fixed at QR3,520 and the maximum at QR4,800. An employee in the highest grade (first grade) will get a minimum basic salary of QR30,400, which can go up to QR41,600.

The minimum basic salary of an Independent school operator has been fixed at QR32,000 and the maximum at QR48,000.

Besides the basic salary, teachers will get a 35 percent allowance and monthly bonus ranging from QR2,000 to QR5,400 depending on their qualification and grade.

The allowance for administrative staff varies according to the nature of their job. Besides the basic salary, school operators will get a social allowance, a housing allowance, a transport and furnishing allowance and special allowances and incentives linked to promotion of the educational process.

Members of the Qatari academic community, while welcoming the decision, expressed the hope that more nationals would now be attracted to taking up jobs in the Independent schools, especially as teachers. Many qualified nationals abhor the teaching profession, mainly due to the low salaries.

According to a recent study released by the Supreme Education Council, only 30 percent of the teachers in various schools across the country are Qataris, while Arabs from other countries account for 53 percent and non-Arabs for 17 percent of the teachers.

Semi-independent schools (which have now been converted into Independent schools) had the highest percentage of Qatari teachers at 71, followed by 25 percent in Independent schools. There are hardly any Qataris in Arab private and international schools.

Salaries of teachers in most private schools are abysmally low, especially when compared to the pay scale in the Independent schools. The government’s move may prompt private school teachers to seek government intervention to improve their situation.

“The government decision will have a positive impact on the educational process. We can expect better performance from teachers and more Qataris to join the teaching profession,” said Mohammed Rabea Al Kuwari, an Independent school operator.

THE PENINSULA

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