I am sorry that somehow you missed my comments on the so-called "schools" run by SABIS. No, i have not personally had any direct experience of these places, but I have spoken to several colleagues who have had that misfortune. Anyway, here is something else for you to read about the Chewyfat schools. This time it comes from The International Schools' Review.
The 25 or so Choueifat schools around the world follow a curriculum called the SABIS system, and it is appalling. Students are forced to rote memorize reams of information in all subjects, information that will be slightly adjusted and increased from year to year, so that effectively they are relearning the same material in the same way again and again and again from year to year. No matter what grade they are in, students are never held accountable for having actually learned anything before, so they are constantly reinventing their boring wheel. The curriculum materials are so cheaply and badly produced, it is almost unbelievable. In English, for example, the main textbooks are SABIS written and produced military histories from grade four through grade twelve. No real literature is used because literature is, by its very nature, subversive and therefore threatening to the fundamentalist Islamic values that the SABIS system caters to. The math program is better, because the SABIS system of testing and retesting the same concepts over and over again lends itself more effectively to a largely linear area of study. Science education is also limited, churning out technicians rather than thinkers.
Thinking is discouraged generally, with all students and teachers across the system forced to follow exactly the same lifeless lesson plans from day to day, without regard to teacher or student interests or abilities. SABIS students will never, for example, create their own original videos as part of a graded class project. When some better informed parents complain about this kind of monotony and insensitivity to different learning styles, the SABIS system responds with an extracurricular program they call Student Life. All of the fun and creative work is supposed to happen in there, outside of the graded class work and along with sports. But in fact most kids end up spending most of student life playing soccer, which they would have done anyway. It is not a venue to stretch and grow, because it is not graded, and grades are all that students take seriously here.
I also question the academic integrity of the school, even judging it within the parameters the SABIS system sets for itself. Students take tests constantly, mostly multiple choice tests, and if they fail they are supposed to be retaught the missed material and then they are retested. They post improvement charts saying, "Look how much the students improved after retesting!" But in fact many times the students were allowed to retest three or even five times between the first score and the last, and it is a rare person who wouldn't pick up a few more points after taking essentially the same test five times running. British teachers seem to find the SABIS system less offensive than American teachers do.
Non-Arab kids don't last here. The Arab kids bully them, and the rigid, slow-paced, illogical curriculum baffles them and then their parents pull them out as soon as they can. Arab kids, especially those whose families have had little or no exposure to the West, seem content here.
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I am about to move to Doha. I am really interested in collecting information about the International School of Choueifat. I have two kids, attending year 6 and 7. Anything will be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Hyrcania..can u tell me ur son went to which grade in ISC....?
Thanks the_hippo for your comments
I would also be very interested to see a comment by one of the teachers from Choueifat.
My children had a good experience, studying in Qatar International school as well.
I have never taught at a Choueifat school. It would be very interesting if a teacher at a Choueifat school were to confirm (or deny!) the points that I have made about the SABIS "system".
any comments for Qatar International School??
and good schools require interviews!!
There has been a suggestion that a Choueifat school might be a suitable school for some children. Maybe this depends on your definitions of "child" and "education".
I have never taught at a Choueifat school, but I have talked to several teachers who have had that misfortune. Some of my colleagues have taught in one of these schools. I have also talked to many of my students who used to go to these schools before they left and went to a proper school.
First of all, many of the "teachers" at these so-called Choueifat "schools" are not really teachers at all. They are not graduates and they do not have proper teaching certification. Of course the SABIS "schools" prefer to hire people who are not properly qualified, so that they can pay them less. At a recruitment fair, one principal of a SABIS school admitted to one of my colleagues, in an unguarded monet, that they only wanted to hire unqualified staff because proper teachers nearly always disagreed with the SABIS system.
Secondly, Choueifat "schools" do not permit the parents to speak directly to the parents. My guess is that they do not want the parents to find out how uneducated their children's teachers really are. Another possibility might be that the Choueifat "teachers" are just too lazy and cannot be bothered to speak to their pupils' parents.
Thirdly, good schools want to "stretch" the abilities of their most able students and give support to those students who are struggling. (This is usually called "differentiation".) In fact, this is against SABIS rules and teachers who do not stick rigidly to their instructions will be disciplined or sacked. If it says that you must be on page 33 of your SABIStextbook at 11.30 on Monday morning, then you had better make sure that you are on page 33, not page 32 to page 34!
Fourthly, the SABIS schools must use the SABIS curriculum materials and textbooks. These are often dull, outdated, inaccurate and uninspiring. Of course, sensible schools buy the best (and most appropriate) teaching materials they can find and they are not restricted to only one set of materials. You cannot buy SABIS teaching materials in any bookshop, probably because they are trash and no one wants to buy them.
Fifthly, teachers in Choueifat schools are ordered by their superiors to discourage the students from asking questions, thinking for themselves and in any way disagreeing with anything their teachers may tell them. This is not education: this is indoctrination and brain-washing.
Sixthly, my Muslim friends tell me that the Qu'ran says that each child is the unique and special handiwork of Our Creator, so it is rather a pity that those in charge of the SABIS "schools" seem to know little or nothing about Islam. The Choueifat system seems to be designed to crush a child's individuality and creativity, rather than nurture and develop it.
The last time I wrote about the SABIS system, no one challeneged my comments. No one claimed that the Choueifat teachers really are well trained, qualified and certified graduates from good universities. No one said that the Choueifat teachers really are allowed to speak to the parents. And, last but by no means least, no one has ever told me that their child is HAPPY at a Choueifat school.
u can try santhinkathen Indian school this in the Doha-Jadeth area
Dess leads up to Doha College and teaches up to grade Six and secondary education follows up with Doha College, starting with grade 7 to A-Level.
The problem with DESS is that, it goes only up to grade 5. Correct me if I am wrong.
I have been looking around for a while now and would recommend either Park House or Qatar International.
Unfortuantely for a better education you have to travel a bit...... I know its a bit of pain to say the least, that is the price we ahve to pay for a better education.
Doha English speaking school is the best. My children studied in DESS. They never carried heavy school bags. Learnt everything comfortably. For basic education I highly recomend DESS.
thanx Hyrcania for the info ..i heard the same about Choueifat.....
anyways can someone tell me about the difference btw Newton British school and Newton International school and which one is better??
If you are staying in al waab area. Newton British school i am sure still they have a space for your daughter. and its nearby.
My son goes to Choueifat. I must warn you their system is extremely tough and beleive me I have problem carrying his bag, as it is so heavy.
They really feed the kids with a lot. However from descipline point of view I don't think any school can match it.
Although my son is doing very well and he loves the school, I am really thinking of changing his school for next year, since I feel he is somehow missing his childhood.
I think I am right in saying that, there is a long waiting list for Choueifat as well.
Thankyo all of you for ur precious advice..
I heard a lot about International school of Choeuifat...does anyone has any info ...n besides parkhouse has no vacancies....
Newton is positively on my list ..
wish me luck ppl..
My son is at Compass International. Love the school and work there part time. Great for younger kids as the school is not to big and lots of attention to detail...
FASTER, FASTER, FASTER, till the fear of death subsides
My kids are currently at the Newton British School, close by the Khalifa Staduim. So far, no regrets.
It depends on the curriculum you want to follow, british curriculum good schools are DESS, Park House, the american school is obviously good for american curriculum
The request was for a "good" school, qatariboy!
u can try cambridge school