Qatar – School Places Shortages in Perspective

Qatar is front page news in the Guardian Today – where it says ‘.  Doha’s many glittering new buildings and massive construction projects are concrete testimony to its immense wealth and ambition.’

By coincidence in Doha today to meet with government officials. Their problem is the chronic shortage of school places – with the highest expat % in the world at 85% these expats have children and there is a critical shortage of school places.  Facilities for families is critical in attrating highly skilled professional Qatar needs and expat schools are in severe supply with many schools run in highly inadequate converted villas well away from neighbourhoods whee there is demand and where it si too expensive for the private sector to buy land. Hence the schools masterplan project where we have to spec out a projection method for school places for different nationalities and by area and determine where those schools should go. Around 300 current schools and around the same number again over the next 15 years as the population grows by 3.5% a year.  So we have to develop a GIS based methodology for determining need and optimum locations for these schools including potential replacements for sub standard schools.  In logistical and project planning terms – planning to meet the shortage to a deadline – no less challenging than organising a world cup I think.


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