In 2004, Qatar adopted the Education for a New Era (ENE) reform which ushered in more than a decade of systemic change to the education system in the country. The scope of the ENE reform was vast and complex, and reflected the government’s deep commitment to improving the education system.
Fifteen years on, as Qatar rolls-back the reforms implemented in the ENE and reverts back to a Ministry system, it is important to look at the successes and challenges of the ENE, particularly from an educational leadership perspective, to instruct us as we move forward in this next educational era. Too often, education policymakers approach reform from a political point of view, failing to understand the human side. The education system must have a human focus – a focus on students, on teachers and on school leaders – the key stakeholders of any education system. In order to achieve real improvement and lead successful change processes in schools, we need to refocus on what lies at the core of education: human development and learning.
What does this all mean? When we focus on the human side of change, we are focusing on helping teachers develop better performance, new mindsets, new knowledge and new skills. While much has been said and written about the subject from a policy-maker’s perspective, little voice has been given to educators who have lived, implemented and taught through the reform processes. This talk aims to share their perspective, to affirm that it’s about them - the educators.
This talk presents the past and the present of Qatar’s education system as a case study. It reflects on the importance of school leadership amid school improvement and change processes. This talk is for practitioners and policymakers alike to champion the agents of change, and to present a case for additional policies that provide professional development for both school leaders and teachers in Qatar’s schools of today and tomorrow.