More than 150 boys and girls are now better able to deal more effectively with their educational difficulties
When Sultan Abdulaziz Al-Buainain enrolled in a program called “Prime”, his wish was to improve his academic skills so that he could enroll in a reputable university for higher studies. “I benefited greatly from the program, and learned many skills, such as the ability to organize my time and focus on studying more, and most importantly, my ability to plan my future education,” he said.
The Prime program was launched for students from grades 10 to 12, between the ages of 18 and 25, with the aim of helping students overcome the educational difficulties they faced
Al-Buainain indicated that the program greatly contributed to his enrollment in a Qatar Foundation partner university – Georgetown University in Qatar.
Based on a mission that every student has the ability to succeed despite all challenges, Awsaj Academy offers a unique program called “Prime” that equips students with the necessary skills to transition from school to university to the job market.
“The Prime program was launched in 2016, for students from grades 10 to 12, between the ages of 18 and 25, with the aim of helping students overcome the educational difficulties they faced,” said Essam Abdou, Assistant Principal, Awsaj Academy, which falls under the umbrella of Pre-University Education at Qatar Foundation (QF). “And there are 159 students from our Academy who have benefited from the Prime program so far.”
The program is divided into two parts: Prime PM, which is intended for students who have not been successful twice during the secondary school stage; and Prime Plus, which is intended for students who have not been successful three times or more in secondary school.
Following the method of competency-based education, and not according to hierarchical grades or ages, “the program also aims to provide students with as many study skills as possible, which they will need later in the post-school life. And this happens through approved courses which students are unable to sit in or complete previously,” Abdou said.
I benefited greatly from the program, and learned many skills, such as the ability to organize my time and focus on studying more, and most importantly, my ability to plan my future education
In the Prime program, students are given the opportunity to attend additional tailored-made classes that are according to their competencies in a specific subject, in order to ensure that their knowledge and grades see an improvement, and meet their various educational needs. Students who obtain low grades are also provided with appropriate guidance and support to so that they are able to graduate in a timely manner.
“Most students are usually weak in mathematics or the English language, and the program focuses on giving students concentrated courses in these two subjects that help them in daily life,” Abdou said.
For example, the English language course focuses on spoken language and everyday communication, which is known as the expediency of language rather than the grammar of the English language, while mathematics focuses on everyday mathematical problems and solving problems, rather than attention to modern and developed mathematics.
Over the past years, more than 20 percent of Prime students have enrolled in university courses and specialized programs to obtain a bachelor’s degree, according to Abdou.
From the program I acquired self-reliance skills, which helped me a lot in my life in general, specifically in my studies at the university, as this phase requires immense hard work filled with a lot of independent tasks
“We have students enrolled in QF's partner universities such as Texas A&M University at Qatar, Georgetown University in Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar, in addition to Qatar University, and other universities in the US and UK. Some Prime students have also been able to enroll in specialized programs in the military and police colleges.
“The program is still expanding, as the demand for registration increases every day, but we are currently working on building a more specialized educational program that provides focused pathways according to the students’ desire to complete the post-school phase, such as providing IT and public relations courses or physical education,” Abdou said.
For Al-Buainain, the program helped him make decisions about his academic future and plan for it. “And through the support of professors, students can choose the study materials that they think will help them enroll in the major or university they want.”
“The noteworthy benefit of the basic program was learning how to build good habits, as well as gaining experience in self-discipline. Without these two things, my attention was easily distracted,” says Hamad Al Mannai, an Awsaj Academy graduate, who was also a Prime program student.
“The biggest challenge for me during the Prime program was the motivation to continue working without supervision. However, from the program I acquired self-reliance skills, which helped me a lot in my life in general, specifically in my studies at the university, as this phase requires immense hard work filled with a lot of independent tasks,” Al-Mannai said.