Awareness, humanity, brotherhood, mannerism tolerance, intelligence, creativity and repulsion; everything falls under the purview of education and thus it is deemed as the foundation of all and life itself. From the aforesaid we can say that education is the premise of progress of a nation, a society and a nation itself.
The point to be noted here is that between personal growth, change in society and its realization stands the need of education. But, the actual question is what sort of education? The greatest concern of any educational institution should be to help students grow both academically and intellectually.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s words rightfully explain the true purpose of education. He says, “The purpose of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character –that is the goal of true education.” Thus, any educational institution starting from preschools, schools to colleges should ensure that what students learn in classroom or more importantly how students learn helps in developing all the skills they need to thrive in their life.
Education institution should building students’ capacity to think and enabling them to be self-learners which will create conditions for their sustained growth. As a result, students gradually learn to cope and adapt with the changing world.
One such school that has achieved this goal in the most prolific manner is the Franco-Qatari Lycée Voltaire. It is among handful of those schools that has succeeded in growing its presence due the quality of being persistent in its quest of excellence.
Tailoring a Holistic Academic Journey
Established in 2007, the Franco-Qatari Lycée Voltaire pursues the ideal of its founding fathers, and helps strengthen the privileged links between Qatar and France, through language, education and culture, all related to knowledge. The Lycée Voltaire was inaugurated on th the 13 of January 2008 January by the Crown Prince of Qatar, Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani, now Emir of Qatar and the President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy.
It welcomes nearly 1,700 students of forty nationalities on 3 campuses including West Bay, Al Waab and Salwa. The school promotes an education open to the world, respectful of the plurality of identities which makes it so rich. The excellence of the teaching provided in Arabic, French and English responds to the desire of the Lycée Voltaire to offer high-quality academic training, conducive to academic success and ‘living together’. The Lycée Voltaire project aims at supporting each student on a chosen path through French programs and exams. This freedom of choice, associated with the variety of training offered, has enabled it to build places of fraternity from nursery to final year classes (senior year) by offering courses that meet the wishes of families to enrich the culture of their children, the culture of others.
The Guiding Light
We established how the school focuses on preparing its students to be confident, life-long learners, problem solvers and creative thinkers. Aiding the school to achieve this goal is Dr. Ali Ben Fetais Al Marri. He sets the orientations of the school and chairs the educational, administrative and financial management of the school is entrusted to a board of directors
The board of directors issues the main orientations of the school in regards to the Voltaire Project. The council pays a particular attention to the schooling of children of Qatari and French nationalities (which represent more than 60% of the total number) in order to support the desire of the State of Qatar to fully participate in the French-speaking world.
Adding Value to Education
- We have already established that Franco-Qatarien Lycée Voltaire promotes quality education that is open to the world and respectful of the plurality of identities that make it so rich. Enabling the school to achieve this goal is:
- Its excellent teaching in Arabic, French, English and others, which guarantees a high-quality academic training conducive to academic success.
- Offering an environment that promotes ‘living together ‘and fraternity from nursery to final year classes (senior year).
- Training based on French programs and exams. The school responds to the wishes of families to enrich the culture of their children, the culture of others.
- An initiation to the principles of citizenship reinforced throughout the educational background to allow students to become free and responsible citizens.
- Offering education that relies on a teaching body and educational teams, with proven academic skills working in harmony for the well-being of students.
- Promoting a project that finds its place in Qatar’s ambition to establish ‘an economy based on knowledge and education’. The Voltaire project contributes to strengthening the privileged links between Qatar and France, through language, education and culture.
A Student-Centric Curriculum
Students here are not viewed as empty vessels where information has to be poured but, instead they are viewed as self-learners. The faculties of this school realizes that every student is different and hence, everyone posses a different learning ability. However, holistic growth of each student is of paramount importance to this school.
Thus students here, are encouraged to create a theory of their world (selflearn) and test their hypothesis with real-life and hands-on experiences, all of this is further is aligned with the school’s curricula.
The Franco-Qatarien Lycée Voltaire currently offers only one academic program: the French program. It follows a lesson plan in accordance with the principles of French education, with French programs and with the principles of French pedagogical and educational organization, structures its educational organization.
As mentioned before, the FrancoQatarien Lycée Voltaire aims at bridging the gap between the two cultures. Thus its academic program also takes into account the specificities defined by the State of Qatar, particularly in regards to the teaching of the Arabic language for all pupils and the teaching of the Muslim religion, compulsory for all Qatari pupils.
Furthermore, the school ensures that class schedules are conducted as defined by the French Ministry of Education and Youth and the Qatari Ministry of Education and Higher Education are respected.
An Environment Enhancing Growth
Complementing its strategy of developing skilled learners is the environment the students are nurtured in. Thus, while focusing on the educational growth, this school equally puts emphasis nurturing their skills and polishes their talents. To do the same, the Lycée Voltaire has developed a large range of extracurricular activities either in addition to its basic teaching, or by offering sports and cultural activities beyond school time by signing partnerships with the PSG Academy for football, or with the Qatari fencing federation. Furthermore, it has also collaborated with UNESCO associated schools, which allows the FrancoQatarien Lycée Voltaire to organize its actions around United Nations’ flagship projects.
The school also organizes meetings and interactions with French-speaking, Arabic-speaking or English-speaking authors, free readings, production of texts, meetings with local artists and scenarios (book illustration workshops), French artists (artistic creation and theatrical expression workshops).
The school is also focusing on introducing few other activities, such as temporary exhibitions, on a specific theme. For instance, on the occasion of Qatar National Day, the school aims to promote the language and culture of Qatar.
Similarly it also plans on exhibiting books belonging to French-speaking literature, during the Semaine de la Francophonie or exhibiting student’s work resulting from correspondence with authors of French children’s literature. Through these activities the school is aiming to familiarize both the culture, and literature of both France and Qatar.
Gateway to a World of Opportunities
Franco-Qatarien Lycée Voltaire believes in quality learning everyday and it includes even after graduating from the school. To ensure the same, the school takes special care to present studies and careers opportunities to its students, who overwhelmingly choose to continue their studies in Qatar or in Anglo-Saxon universities in the fields of science, law and economic studies.
The students of the schools are introduced to the real-world and are familiarized with the opportunities that lay ahead of them. To ensure the same, the school organizes industry visits, Orientation meetings wherein students interact with professionals or former students who present their professional backgrounds and their studies.
It is the school’s aim is to give students the most concrete possible idea of any trade or professional sector. Thus the school trains students on ‘Personal Statement’ , an essential tool for British file, which can also be used as a basis for the development of the cover letter on Parcoursup or essays for Northern-American universities.
The monitoring and consistency of all these actions at secondary school (middle school) level, and high school level is done adhering to the requirements recommended by AEFE(Agency for French Education Board).
The Lycée Voltaire is also a UCAS (The Universities and College Admission Service; a UK based organization) approved centre. Thus it guides students for their further studies adhering to the guidelines recommended by UCAS. The student of the school are also encouraged and are prepared for language tests such as IELTS, and admission tests for AngloSaxon universities such as BMAT, SAT, and ACT.
It is thus safe to say that the FrancoQatarien Lycée Voltaire encourages the students to become the person they are meant to be by tapping into their greatness and talent while setting the stage for a life.