Monday, March 2, 2009

2nd School Visit !!!

This morning we went to visit the Almashoor Islamic Girls' School, it's a secondary school. The girls met us at the gate with drums and singing, while they took pictures of us and we took pictures of them. Then we went up to the media room where we were given a presentation about the school and its history. We got a tour of the school, from our own personal tour guides. Finally we were served lunch and treated to some entertainment provided by the students. Oh, then we signed autographs. haha. not kidding.

I made a list of a few things I learned during my visit.

- exams determine what stream the students study in. Students are either Science students or Art students. In each each stream they divide the students into classes depending on their test scores. Almost every student strives to be in the top class.

- While we were there so were the dentists. The students receive annual check up from optometrists and dentists.

- Every student is required to participate in 3 extra curricular activities. One sport, one club, and one service activity.

- The students play a huge part in running the school. The students are their own police (check uniforms and watch for bad behaviour). The librarian is also a student and students work in the school store (students are allowed to eat sweets during class because they think it helps them stay awake). Students are also responsible for decorating their own home rooms, and changing bulletin boards monthly.

- Teachers work out of an office not a homeroom.(men work on one side of the office and women on the other side) Teachers go to the students homerooms to teach them. The department heads get an air conditioned office.

- Students are split into 2 streams (Art & Science) and Math and Science are the only subjects taught in English.

- The students attend classes from 7:40 - 2:15. They start early because of the heat, and classes are only 35 minutes long.

- Students take 12 courses in a semester.

- They have a prayer room at school, because many students are required to pray 5 times a day. Men and women pray in different parts of the room, a curtain divides them.

- They students have their own ID cards, but they're like debit cards. You can put a balance on the card and use the card to buy meals and items from the store. The cards are also used to do attendance. Students swipe the card when entering the class, this shows they are present and is also linked to the internet, which parents have access to, so they can see if their students are attending class.

- There are never discipline problems, the biggest problems they face are when a teacher asks a student to do one thing they want to do three.


  1. This is really cool learning all the difference that this culture faces with ours.
    I'm especially surprised that they have 2 "streams"... arts and sciences. I kind of wish that existed here when I was in elementary/high school.
    So does this mean the ones placed in the arts, mainly focus on art related subjects? Working with their strength, and like wise with Science?
    I also kind of like the idea of having a dentist and optometrist coming to the school to do check ups. God knows not every child's family can afford to get check ups, so this allows everyone the opportunity to get health check ups.
    This was a real eye opener. Thanks for posting this, Eric.

  2. Exactly, the intent of dividing the students is so that they focus on their strengths. It makes sense, the only negative I can think of is having students placed in one stream when they would rather be in the other. The streams are determined by the school, and I don't know if there is any way around the placements. I'll look into it.

  3. Wow, intense! In a good way :) Thanks for sharing these differences with us.