Education System

In 2001, Qatar hired the RAND Corporation to analyse and reform its K-12 education system due to uncertainties over the quality of the pre-existent system. At the time RAND's study was conducted, over 100,000 students were served by the Qatari education system; two-thirds of whom attended government-operated schools. RAND pointed out the relatively low expenditure on the education system as one of the country's weaknesses. RAND also proposed numerous reforms to the system to the Qatari government, with an emphasis on improving the curricula.

As a response to the RAND study, the Supreme Education Council launched the Education for a New Era (EFNE) initiative in 2001 and introduced nationwide policy reforms. One of the cardinal objectives of the EFNE was to adopt a Western education system for its preschool system. The SEC also aimed to increase overall enrollment in preschools with this initiative. In 2005, the SEC raised curriculum standards in Arabic, mathematics and sciences for all grades. A large number of independent schools were also opened shortly after. Twelve independent schools opened in 2004, twenty-one in 2005 and thirteen in 2006.

An assessment test published in 2008 revealed that only a small portion of students were able to meet the new curriculum standards. Approximately 10% met the standards in English, 5% in Arabic and less than 1% met the standards in mathematics and sciences. A 2015 study conducted by the OECD ranked Qatar in the bottom 10 of its educational index.

The Qatar National Vision 2030 sets a number of objectives for the country's education system.