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Pay Off For New Zealanders In Middle East

16th March 2005

Hard Work And Flexibility Pay Off For New Zealanders In Middle East

A New Zealand organisation is boosting its involvement in the Middle East, following a successful year of helping to implement major educational reforms.

The State of Qatar yesterday (Tuesday) awarded Multi Serve Education Trust the task of mentoring a further seven Qatari schools through a sixteen month process of modernisation and de-centralisation.

The agreement comes just one year after Multi Serve began mentoring an initial five Qatari schools to self-management, as part of the oil-rich country’s wide-ranging programme of reforms.

Multi Serve is also this month running a training programme for 150 Qatari teachers who are seeking to work in their country’s newly de-centralised schools.

In addition, the Auckland-based organisation is to offer a “Leadership Programme” for school operators and principals, reflecting the broader role required of them as increasing numbers of Qatar’s schools become self-managing and independent and adopt a more pupil-centred approach.

“The Qatari authorities have identified educational change as a key component in their reform programme. Autonomy, accountability, parental choice and diversity are all important elements in lifting educational standards and helping young Qataris participate in the global economy,” says Jo Mullins, Multi Serve’s Director of Education Operations International.

“We’re delighted to have been asked to expand our role in Qatar. It’s a sign of the confidence that the authorities there have in our hard-working and flexible New Zealand approach, as well as in the skill and experience of our team members, many of whom have distinguished backgrounds in education gained both in New Zealand and overseas.

“For our part, we’ve been deeply impressed by the determination and seriousness with which Qatar is pursuing its reform programme, both in education and in other spheres, while preserving its values, culture and beliefs,” she says.

As a result of today’s agreement, the size of Multi Serve’s team in Qatar is expected to rise from 18 to 31 over the next couple of months.

“Whilst our second cohort of Qatari schools is bound to throw up some new challenges, we will be able to draw on a huge body of knowledge gained in Qatar over the last year as well as on a broader background of experience derived from New Zealand’s own transition to educational self-management, following the publication of ‘Tomorrow’s Schools’ in 1989.

“We are breaking new ground for New Zealand’s education sector in Qatar, demonstrating that we can successfully export a very high level of educational management expertise to an extremely affluent market in a very important region. This augurs well for future projects elsewhere in the world,”says Jo Mullins

“From New Zealand’s point of view, this is a win-win proposition. Our team members in Qatar are working at the cutting edge of educational change. They will return home with new and well-honed skills and able to make a particularly effective contribution to our education system,” she adds.

Founded in 1989, Multi Serve Education Trust is New Zealand’s leading independent service provider to schools. Services it offers New Zealand schools include professional development for staff, training for Boards of Trustees and support in management, curriculum development, teacher and principal recruitment, payroll services and transport management.

Multi Serve also provides consultancy and start-up services for education institutes overseas. The organisation is a charitable trust. Profits arising from its activities are used to benefit New Zealand’s schools.


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