EARLY SUCCESS

Qatar 2019 | EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

PUE wants its students not to simply be recipients or users of science and technology, but to be inspired to become innovators themselves.

Buthaina Ali Al Nuaimi
BIOGRAPHY
Buthaina Ali Al Nuaimi joined Qatar Foundation in 2006 and held several positions at its education division. She was a founding member of five schools under the umbrella of Qatar Foundation. She holds an executive MBA from HEC Paris in Qatar, a bachelor’s degree in arts and education in English from Qatar University, and a postgraduate diploma in applied educational leadership and management from the Institute of Education, University of London.

Why is pre-university education so important to Qatar's development?

Everything starts with education—at Qatar Foundation (QF) and in life. And within education itself, everything starts at the pre-university level. PUE is where foundations for lifelong learning are laid, and future leaders, innovators, and change-makers start to be equipped and empowered to make an impact in their careers and communities. The learning experience PUE provides is central to shaping the way our students' lives will unfold, not just through enabling academic achievement, but through the values it instills, and the creative, critical-thinking, discovery-focused mindset it inspires. For a sustainable, diversified economy, and a strong, resilient society, Qatar requires homegrown talent with the skills and dedication to make pivotal contributions to addressing national priorities, and a community of active, engaged citizens whose desire for knowledge never wanes, who care about their nation and its people, and who want to make a difference through their work and actions. From the age of six months onward, QF's unique education cycle nurtures young people who are what Qatar and the world require: proficient, conscientious, and driven to excel.

How has QF's pre-university education network grown over the years?

PUE's expansion has mirrored the overarching growth of QF—not simply in terms of facilities, but in its scope, diversity, and holistic nature. The schools we have established and the curricula we have devised are anchored in Qatari culture and values, while catering to Qatar's multicultural community. Our Qatar Academy model spans five schools in different locations within Doha, Al Khor, and Al Wakrah—each with its own identity and character, but with a collective commitment to educational excellence and meeting every student's personal learning needs. At Qatar Leadership Academy, we promote the personal growth of young students through a blend of academics, military discipline, sport, and leadership skills, while Qatar Academy for Science and Technology (QAST), launched in 2018, encourages, develops, and positions talented students to become innovators. The inclusivity of PUE is reflected by Awsaj Academy, a K-12 specialized school addressing the needs of students with mild-to-moderate learning challenges, and Renad Academy, established in 2016 to help children diagnosed with mild-to-moderate Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Renad Academy illustrates our recognition of the crucial role education plays in society and our dedication to providing the highest-quality education and support for children with ASD. We educate, nurture, and guide our youth with the next stage in their academic journey in mind. Our Academic Bridge Program—a two-semester general studies program focused on English, math, science, and computer skills—helps students make a seamless and successful transition from high school to university. Collectively, our schools and programs prepare students for so many things—higher education, adulthood, career achievement, and global citizenship.

PUE's role in education stretches beyond the classroom. How do you help strengthen the educational fabric of Qatar?

We always say that success is achieved collectively, not individually. This principle is at the core of our vision of learning and reflected in a broader sense through our Education Development Institute (EDI). A center of excellence in the sphere of professional development and lifelong learning, EDI supports the growth and evolution of the educational community, in Qatar and internationally. Through delivering programs that align with what educators need, providing training in teaching methodologies, fostering professional 'learning communities' of teachers, and opening up a flow of knowledge exchange, EDI enables educators to capitalize on best practices that are designed, and proven, to elevate student achievement. EDI has also established the Teaching & Learning Forum, a leading regional conference and a platform for educators to network and learn from each other. Drawing together education stakeholders—students, teachers, school leaders, parents, and the community—it aims to equip educators with the tools to inspire young people to academic excellence and help drive continuous school improvement.