“I find navigating the
challenges of the NGO sector extremely
“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.
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.