Al Hekma >> Employment FAQs

Employment FAQs


Dafna FAQs

Q. Can I learn Arabic?
A. There are several places to learn Arabic, one of them being Berlitz. However, on campus if there is collective interest, classes may be arranged with the Special Arabic teachers.

Q. Does the school provide me with transportation to and from the campus?
A. Yes, the school will provide you with transportation for the first 3 months at the start of the academic year. During this time you would have received your residency permit which will assist you in arranging alternative transportation. You can either hire a car, car pool with friends or arrange a driver.

Q. When can I get a driving license in Qatar?
A. Most Westerners can change their license at the Medinat Khalifat Traffic Department without taking a driving test. You will need your passport or ID card, three photos (these can be obtained at the typists' offices outside the department), original driving license and your sponsor's ID. Your sponsor will have to sign/stamp a form, and may also have to provide a letter. You will have to complete a form in Arabic - there are plenty of typists who will do this for five riyals or so.

If you wear glasses, you must be wearing them in the photo, or you will not be allowed to wear them in the eye test. (They don't allow you to draw the glasses on, either.) - taken from Qatarvisitor.com

Q. What is Qatar like?
A. The Gulf in general is a region rich in culture and traditions. Other cultures are welcomed and appreciated. People living in the Gulf are both accommodating and friendly. English is widely spoken and understood. For more information on the culture, events and lifestyle see www.experienceqatar.com.

Q. What should I expect of the students?
A. Al Hekma is an international school with a wide array of cultures; however, our students are primarily ESL students. Thus, differentiation in the classroom, instructional activities and alternative assessment are all essential in optimizing students learning experience.

Q. Is there a relocation/settling in allowance?
A. Yes, there is a $200 USD (750 QR) relocation allowance per person upon arriving in Bahrain (this is issued only once upon arrival and does not apply when the employee leaves for vacation or leaves the country either to return to their origin country or otherwise). In addition to the allowance the school provides you with a fully furnished flat. The flat is stocked with necessities for the first few days such as tea, sugar, bread, cheese, fruits, water, juice, coffee, milk, vegetables, shampoo, towels, napkins, garbage bags, washing detergent, soap and more. The later are provided to make settling in as smooth as possible. We will then provide you with an orientation schedule which includes taking you shopping for groceries and other needs.

Q. Do I require any vaccinations before entering Qatar?
A. There are no vaccination requirements to enter the country. After entering Qatar you will be required to complete a medical check-up in order to attain your work permit. Your medical date will be assigned to you upon airport arrival.

Q. How long will it take process my visa?
A. After submitting your documents to the Ministry of Labor, the issuance of a visa is anticipated to take anywhere between 1-3 months after arriving in Qatar. Certain religious holidays such as Ramadan and Eid may delay the processing times. The flow of arrivals in Qatar will also play a determining factor in the length of processing time (e.g. end of summer is busier therefore may take longer).

Q. How soon can I get a phone number in Qatar?
A. We recommend that you bring an unlocked mobile phone that is tri-band or more. Upon arriving in the airport you will be able to purchase a sim card for a minimal fee (minimum $15USD). If you do not have a compatible mobile, one may be purchased at the airport, prices vary.

Q. Does the school provide alcohol permits to purchase alcohol in Qatar?
A. No

Q: As an expat moving to Qatar, when will I receive my ticket to arrive to Qatar? When will I receive a ticket to depart Qatar and return home?
A. Employees will receive their tickets 2 weeks prior to their arrival or departure.

School Q's

Q. When will my salary be paid?
A. Salaries are issued on the 7th of each month. After an account is opened with a local bank this money will be directly deposited into your account. If the 7th lands on a weekend or a public holiday, money will be deposited on the next business day.

Q. What is the dress code for teachers and students?
A.  As representatives of the school and role models to their students, teachers and staff members are required to maintain high standards of appearance, personal hygiene, and grooming. Appearance at school and school functions should be smart and professional (attire, footwear, hair colour and accessories). No visible tattoos or body piercing is allowed and also teachers are not to dye their hair with unusual colours such as pink, blue, purple...etc. The host country’s culture asks that you cover your upper arms, your thighs and chest. By doing this you show respect for the local culture. Jeans, tank tops, flip flops and shorts are not acceptable. Students on the other hand have a mandatory uniform. For more detail see the Faculty Handbook.

NOTE: teachers should wear their shirts, tie, suits, formal clothing when attending parent meetings.


Q. Will you inform me if my assignment changes by the time I arrive?
A. During the recruitment process or employment, positions or workload may change due to unforeseen circumstances such as a change in the number of registered students. However, we plan to inform all our staff in due time of the changes and will give optimal preparation time.

Q. Will I have access to the internet and intranet on campus?
A. Yes, internet and intranet access is available to all staff on campus for educational as well as professional development purposes. However, chatting as well as personal email has been restricted; we encourage our staff to leave chatting and personal emails to the comfort of their own home at their leisure.

Q. Will I get paid in the summer and holidays?
A. Yes, upon completing an academic year you will be paid for summer vacations and breaks.


Q. Do I get compensated for attending Professional Development?
A.  AHIS pays for all expenses including airfare, accommodation and PD fees for courses outside of Qatar as well as per diem if the attendee is recommended and the PD workshop is approved by the school. If however the Professional Development takes place in Qatar, only the course fees will be paid for.


Q. What are the working hours and work week at AHIS?
A. Teachers: Sun-Thurs. 7.00 am - 3.00 pm
Admin: Sun- Thurs. 7.00 am - 4.00 pm


Q. What types of activities are available in the school?
A.  Various clubs and activities such as Economic and Career Education (ECE) program, Junior Ambassador Conference (JAC), Student Council, Sports Day, International Day and Color Days are just some examples of what is offered at AHIS. Some of these programs require after school or weekend attendance.

Q. What makes Al Hekma different from other private schools?
A. Al Hekma is an educational institute which offers its employees and students many amenities as do other schools, however, it differs in its community and familial atmosphere. A strong sense of community, interaction and helping one another prevails.

Q. Are school buses available for students?
A. Yes, for a nominal fee.

Q. Do you provide tickets for staff and family members?
A. We provide tickets for the employee. Tickets for family members if arranged by the school must be paid by employee up front.

Q. How does the school encourage commendable pupils and directors to attend overseas conferences like the GYLC? United Nations? Etc. Does the school pay a certain percentage of the fee towards travel and expenses?
A. Fundraisers and community sponsorship are sought after. The school also sponsors employees on a case to case basis and for professional development.

Q. Should students bring their own lunches?
A. We encourage students to either pack a healthy lunch or purchase from our canteen.

Q. Can students access the library during school hours?
A. Yes

Q. Will I be compensated for training remedial classes from 2-3pm (during working hours)?
A. No

Q. Will I be compensated for training remedial classes after working hours?
A. Yes

Q. Do I get benefits for enrolling my kids at AHIS?
A. Yes, employees receive 40% discount on tuition. Books, uniforms, transportation, yearbook, application fee are to be paid separately. Discount does not apply to them, please check the website for tuition fees if interested.

Moving Q's

Q. What is included in a shared fully furnished apartment?
A.  Two or three employees will share (2-3 bedroom) flats but each will has his/her separate bedroom. All the other areas of the flat will be shared. The following are items that you can expect to find in your apartment upon arrival: some basic groceries to get you started, a fridge, washing machine/dryer, bed and mattress, cupboard for clothing, sofa set, coffee table, television, satellite dish, bed sheets, towels, some cutlery and glasses, iron, iron board and drinking water cooler/heater.


Q. What do I do if I need to ship something to AHIS?
A. Ship to the following address and address to c/o Salaheldin Mohamed Yousri :
PO BOX 11157,
Dafna Doha,Qatar

For Delivery:

Al Hekma International School- Dafna Campus

House No.1, Street: Abu Torayfa
No.65, Al Dafna
Doha, State of Qatar

You are required to take care of payment on your end, however we ask you hold on to your receipts if you require reimbursement. Al Hekma will reimburse upto a total of $200 USD (750 QR).

Q. What and where does my healthcare cover?
A. Healthcare is provided as a benefit for the employee only. The policy includes visits to the doctor, radiology, lab tests, medicine, procedures, and does not include pre-existing medical conditions. The coverage is provided worldwide excluding Canada and the US (in the case you have an emergency while in the US or Canada, the insurance company will reimburse you on a case to case basis). The employee will be requested to pay 50 Q.R deductable. For more information see Insurance Booklet, this is available upon request.

Q. Does the school provide medical insurance for my family?
A. No, however, you may purchase medical insurance for a reasonable rate from our insurance provider for the rest of your family.

Q. How much does it cost to add my children to my healthcare coverage?
A. Each child costs approximately anywhere from $345-400 USD (1300-1500 QR) annually.

Q. How necessary is it to have a car? Do most teachers have their own car?
A. Although our housing is in a prime location, close to work and other necessities. We do recommend purchasing a car as public transportation may pose an inconvenience.

Q. Will new teachers be provided with an orientation?
A. Upon arriving in Qatar teachers will be taken on a tour of the city. This tour will include major monuments (tourist attractions) as well as important landmarks such as grocery stores and shopping malls. An orientation of the school and its amenities will also be provided.

Q. Will I be able to find American/European products?
A. American and European products (ranging from food to toiletries) can be found in supermarkets such as Carrefour, Lulu and Geant. The prices of these products are pricier than local goods (local goods are of equal quality and lower prices).

Q: If I request a holiday, and want to leave the country before summer break what are the steps I need to take?
A: In order to process an exit, a re-entry visa for you the following must be completed:

  • Complete a leave request form at the school.
  • For post-paid QTel accounts a letter must be generated clearing you of any pending bills
  • A "No Objection" letter from the bank saying you may leave if you have any debt, loan payments or credit card bills pending.

Q. Is there internet access in the apartment housing?
A. Internet is not included in the school housing, however, it is available for a nominal fee. A list of internet providers will be provided upon request.

Q. What are the benefits of enrolling my children at AHIS?
A. Children of AHIS employees receive a 40% tuition discount. Children of staff can also remain on campus, supervised, until 3:00pm (which is end of working day for employees).

Q. Are we provided with funds to purchase our initial ticket to Qatar?
A. One of the many benefits included in our staff packages includes annual roundtrip airfare to and from your home country.One of the many benefits included in our staff packages includes annual roundtrip airfare to and from your home country which the school will arrange for your convenience.

Q. Will we be provided with a multi-entry/exit visa, so that we may travel to other countries during our time in Qatar other than flying to the U.S in the summers?
A. Staff entering Qatar will arrive on a work permit. This permit will be a single entry visa and will require you to reapply for a visa if you wish to leave the country.

Q. Does the school help to offer visas to the spouses of staff members?
A. Yes, no - objection forms which are required by the government are provided by the HR Department, upon request.

Q. Will I be able to travel within the GCC (Gulf) and surrounding countries on my passport?
A. This depends on which passport you hold and the ability to apply for a visa. For example American passport holders may travel within the GCC excluding Saudi Arabia with their Bahrain employment visa, however, some of these countries may require purchasing a visa upon arrival. Contact your embassy for more information.

Academic Q's

Q. What do I do if I need to order teaching resources?
A. You will need to complete a Resource Order form, state the reason and submit to your academic department. Major resources ordered from the US will be processed in August, December and June of each year.

Q. What should I expect of the students?
A. Al Hekma is an international school with a wide array of cultures; however, our students are primarily ESL students. Thus, differentiation in the classroom, instructional activities and alternative assessment are all essential in optimizing students learning experience.

Q. What is the cultural breakdown of students at AHIS?
A. Approximately 55% of students are locals and the remaining are international students. The breakdown of our international student body is primarily from the Middle East, however, there are a number of students from Canada, New Zealand, England and the USA.

Q. How big are class sizes?
A. Classes typically range from anywhere from 18-24 students. In KG and Grade 1 sections  and lower elementary an assistant is provided.


Q. What is the latest, advanced technology that we can apply in teaching?
A.  Al Hekma offers smart boards, individual laptops for students, wireless internet access, multimedia projectors, intranet, internet, Elmo (Doc Camera), Video and digital cameras to name a few of our technological tools.

Q. Do I have to attend the school activities that are held after teaching hours?
A. Staff are encouraged to participate in school activities as they promote school community, however, if there are extraneous circumstances that prevent you from attending an event your supervisor is to be informed.

Q. What are the responsibilities of a homeroom teacher?
A.

  • Know your students
  • Provide role modeling and guidance for your homeroom students
  • Confront your homeroom students with any academic or behavioral concerns you may have
  • Provide accurate reporting data to parents
  • Communicate with students what is happening and changing in the school. Read the students their student announcements.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to assist them and your students for success.
  • Collaborate with the discipline supervisor concerning your homeroom students and their needs.
  • Bond your students to the school and the curriculum.
  • Take daily attendance.

More details are outlined in the teacher handbook, which will be provided to you during orientation and it will be available on our server.

Q. Do you have any support for struggling students?
A. Teachers offer remedial classes, tutoring, and social workers as well as counselors to help reach out to struggling students. Differentiations and IEP plans are also developed to assist in the learning process.

Q. Which assessment systems are followed?
A. Ongoing alternative and formal assessments in addition to a summative final exam at the end of each semester.

Q. Which curriculum does AHIS follow?
A. An American curriculum which emphasizes Qatari culture, civics, religion and Arabic language.

Q. Does the school support the teacher’s autonomy in classroom?

Teachers will enjoy a great deal of autonomy. However, in applying autonomy, teachers must maintain our academic standards and promote life-long learning skills, be effective in the classroom, support decision makers, promote leadership skills and are to provide effective instruction for all students. Our instruction requires meeting specific standards such as differentiating instruction and assessments (formative, summative and alternative), integrating technology and linking subjects.

Q. When can I start attending PD (Professional Development) courses?
A. After your probation period, based on your evaluation, surveys, and SWG (school-wide-goals) your coordinator and the PD team will research appropriate courses/training to suit your purposes and contact you.

Q. What is the best way to deal with ESL learners?
A. There are various approaches, some are presented during orientation. Several other forms are specifically tailored to teaching strategies which would be presented in professional development.

Q. Can I borrow books from the school library?
A. Yes, we encourage all staff and students to take advantage of our facilities.

Q. What are the school’s principles towards curriculum censorship?

A. Teachers must abide by censorship laws stated by the Ministry of Education and government. Therefore, teachers have to acquire approval of the school administration before using any teaching materials not introduced by the school such as worksheets, citations and videos. Teachers must also seek approval if the topics are not included in the curriculum.


Q. Does the school provide training on the reporting process?

A. Our admin team will provide training during the induction week explaining the HR rules and regulation and this will include the reporting process in the school. If you have a concern, you should discuss it with your direct supervisor first before seeking further help. Following the proper channels for communication will facilitate the process of implementation.



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