The Shura Council held today its regular weekly meeting under the chairmanship of HE Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed Bin Abdulla Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud.
At the outset of the meeting, HE the Speaker of the Shura Council extended sincere congratulations to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, on behalf of himself and members of the Shura Council, on the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan, imploring Allah the Almighty to bring it back to HH the Emir, and to the loyal people of Qatar and its residents with further prosperity and more achievements, and to the Arab and Islamic nations with security, peace and stability.
During the meeting, the Shura Council discussed a draft law on the regulation of receipt and disbursement of Zakat funds. The draft law consists of (16) articles, and comes to replace Law No. (8) of the Year 1992 establishing the Zakat Fund. Under the draft law, the competent department of the Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf ) and Islamic Affairs shall undertake the receipt and disbursement of Zakat funds in the areas prescribed in the Sharia.
After discussion, the Shura Council decided to refer the above mentioned draft law to the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee to study it and submit a report thereon to the Council.
The Shura Council also discussed the report of the Cultural and Information Affairs Committee on the request for general debate on education in the State of Qatar.
The recommendations of the Committee included four parts, at the forefront of which is the development of the curriculum. The Committee recommended that the Islamic, Arab and national identity of the Qatari society be emphasized in the curriculum, and that the curricula of the Arabic language and Islamic studies be standardized at all public and private schools and compelling Qatari students to study them.
As regard to the second part on student, the Committee recommended to accord due care to sports and cultural activities of the students and activate the means of e-learning through the development of modern and contemporary teaching methods instead of the methods of indoctrination and memorization. The Committee also recommended to take care of discovering the talents and distinctive abilities of the students in the first stages of education and to pay attention to the general health of the students. It also recommended that scholarships be on the basis of citizenship and scientific competence, and not on the basis of their employer, whether governmental or non-governmental.
On the third part on development of education, the Committee recommended tackling the reluctance of Qatari teachers from the profession of education by giving them priority in employment, developing incentives to attract graduates of the Faculty of Education as well as graduates of other disciplines, reducing the tasks and the long working hours, increasing the days of annual leave, determining the career path of the teacher to ensure the inclusion in career promotions and preparing training programs for all classes of teachers and administrative and supervisory staff in order to raise their professional and educational levels.
As regard to the part on development of schools the Committee recommended development of schools through strengthening the role of the private sector by encouraging investment in the education sector, and recommended to address the phenomenon of private tutoring through legalization and appropriate mechanisms.
The recommendations of the Cultural and Information Affairs Committee also included a recommendation to the Shura Council to instruct the competent authority to establish appropriate mechanisms with clear criteria that guarantee fairness of the accreditation and certification of university degrees for Qataris and non-Qataris graduates from foreign universities.
After an extensive discussion of the report, the Shura Council commended the report and requested the Committee to continue to examine the topic of education for its importance in the light of the comments raised by the members of the Council during their discussions at today's meeting, and the substantive views and observations on the development of the educational process in all its aspects.
At the conclusion of its meeting, the Council was briefed on a report by its delegation which participated in the conference on Parliaments in the Modern Era held recently in Moscow.