Mo­hamed Fakroo

Qatar Today - - THE TREND SETTERS -

“I find nav­i­gat­ing the

chal­lenges of the NGO sec­tor ex­tremely


Look­ing back

“This was the year in which all the ef­fort that went into plan­ning Teach for Qatar, which is es­sen­tially a part of the so­lu­tion to Qatar's ed­u­ca­tional chal­lenges, bore fruit,” says Mo­hammed Fakroo. Now, at the end of the year, he and his 20 staff mem­bers con­tinue their jour­ney of growth into 2015. “Our first co­hort of Fel­lows only be­gan teach­ing in our part­ner schools in Septem­ber 2014; how­ever their achieve­ments and the pos­i­tive change they are en­act­ing have been vis­i­ble from day one,” he says.

“As our tal­ent pool of Fel­lows con­tin­ues to grow we see in­creas­ing in­ter­est from ad­di­tional spon­sors and part­ner schools. Ad­di­tion­ally, some of our Fel­lows have al­ready re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back from their stu­dents' par­ents, while oth­ers have been of­fi­cially recog­nised with awards. It is all th­ese achieve­ments com­bined that bring me not only great pro­fes­sional sat­is­fac­tion, but per­sonal ful­fill­ment as well.” Some of Qatar's big­gest or­gan­i­sa­tions, which part­nered with Teach for Qatar as part of their CSR ini­tia­tives, have taken their in­volve­ment a notch higher.

An agree­ment with Maersk Oil Qatar, which at­tracts some of the bright­est tal­ents in the coun­try, saw one of their em­ploy­ees take up a two-year full-time teach­ing po­si­tion with one of Teach for Qatar's in­de­pen­dent part­ner schools. The year has also brought much into per­spec­tive for Fakroo, a na­tive of the cor­po­rate world.

“It was ac­tu­ally sur­pris­ing to dis­cover that the NGO sec­tor is a lot more chal­leng­ing be­cause re­sults are driven by long-term goals and achieve­ments through grad­ual change, which are there­fore less im­me­di­ate

and tan­gi­ble in the short term,” he says.

Crys­tal gaz­ing

Since teach­ing is not cur­rently con­sid­ered as a top pro­fes­sion of choice in Qatar and is some­what un­der­val­ued within so­ci­ety, it stands in the way of rein­vest­ment of top tal­ent into the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. “From the first day we wanted to work to ad­dress this,” Fakroo says. “This shift in so­ci­etal mind­set is ob­vi­ously not go­ing to hap­pen overnight, which is where the chal­lenge lies.”

Fakroo hopes a new year means more Fel­lows and more part­ner­ships with schools. “I also hope to gain fur­ther sup­port from cor­po­ra­tions re­gard­ing the sec­ond­ment of their em­ploy­ees, which of­fers them the op­por­tu­nity to give back to Qatar through a two-year teach­ing place­ment in one of our part­ner schools,” he says.

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