International Schools Review
Teachers Keeping Each Other Informed

Jailed Teacher in Qatar!

Postby Mike » Sun May 12, 2013 12:53 pm

Rumor is he is out. Getting his paper work from the police. Getting his passport from Qatar Academy. Spending the night at the Nepal Embassy and getting out tomorrow morning.

Wouldn't it be great if the international community rallied around this guy, donated to his school in Nepal and made something good from this mess!

On a side note:
Eric Sands is the director of QA, I am NOT impressed!!

We still love our jobs here at The American School of Doha!
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Postby IAMBOG » Sun May 12, 2013 1:19 pm

On the Facebook page there is talk of starting a fund for him once he's left the country. I'll post the link if it happens.
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Postby Dawson » Sun May 12, 2013 1:32 pm

It would also be nice if other teachers could talk to their admin and see about getting him a position for next year (in a good school, of course).

Maybe even people with connections in the US could try to get him a job there. Not saying the US is perfect, but at least he wouldn't have to worry about being arrested. Also, since he teaches chemistry there is a high need for those teachers in the US. Just putting that out there because I'm sure he won't want to go anywhere near the ME again and who could blame him.
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Postby Dawson » Sun May 12, 2013 1:50 pm

Please do your part and email the IBO program. They are in charge of the IB program of which this school is part of. Email them and demand they investigate this school. It is inconceivable to me that a school like this can be "IB" authorized.

Here's the email for the IBO, governing body of the IB program. ibid@ibo.org

Also, make sure you email Texas A&M and question why they would sponsor or have ties to this school. Thanks.
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Postby mamanaia » Sun May 12, 2013 2:26 pm

Can you please provide a link that supports this claim that QA is linked with Texas A&M? I've seen no indication this is true. If it's not, how crappy that people are pushing others to write to TA&M raising complaints.
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Postby overseasvet2 » Sun May 12, 2013 3:10 pm

I am very happy this teacher has been released and I am confident the international uproar helped. It makes me want to avoid Qatar at all costs but not sure what people think the school could've done once the police were involved. The U.S. government can't get its citizens out of foreign jails so I'm not sure what people expect a school to have done.

None of us know the whole story and to draw huge suppositions about what might or might not have been done seem unfair to all involved. Could things have been handled better somewhere along the way? Probably but without details that will probably never be shared, who will know for sure?

I have never worked for the Head of School of Qatar Academy but my sense of fairness makes me cringe when I read some of the rants on here. In some ways, how is tis so different from the Qatar governement drawing some horrendous conclusion from comments made by 12 year olds? They may have also released him because once they had all the facts, they knew there was no case. Some of the people who work at the school should weigh in here not just those of us who are looking in from other sides of the world.
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Re: Comment

Postby mbovi » Sun May 12, 2013 8:10 pm

[quote="PsyGuy"]Theres always some kind of nonsense going on in the ME, ME=craphole. Why bother with a region and location with these problems. Youd never have such a thing happen in EU or Japan. Though i know one teacher who was jailed briefly in Thailand for insulting the crown. His confinement was for a weekend and they used the kid gloves on him. The only reason the ME even gets teachers at all is the money, offer enough money and admin and the schools can do anything they want. They just up the salary until they get people to apply.[/quote]

This is the only time that I wholeheartedly agree with Psyguy. The ME is a hellhole. Just look at the very generic, basic differences between recruitment. Japan = ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO GET INTO. The Middle East = BEGGING FOR TEACHERS AT JOB FAIRS.
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Postby eion_padraig » Sun May 12, 2013 8:37 pm

It's good to hear of Dorje Gurung's release. It's probably a good thing that he has the contacts he's made over the years at St. Xavier's, Grinnell, UWC, etc. I wonder if it would have played out different if he didn't have those contacts.

@overseasvet2,

I'm sure we'll see something about this on the pay side of the site, if not here sometime after the end of school. There had been some information about it from someone familiar with the situation, but it has since been deleted.

@mamanaia,

One of the board members for Qatar Academy seems to work at Texas A&M in Qatar, and another board member works for Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. That can be found here; http://www.qataracademy.edu.qa/about-qa ... -governors

Granted, these are tenuous connections to the main campuses, but it is one of the ethical issues associated with US (and other countries') universities setting up shop in countries with very different cultural norms and values. Professors at Yale were concerned about the venture with NUS in Singapore because of issues of academic freedom, but issues like these even tangentially associated with their university brand make university administrators sweat back in the US.
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Postby Mr.Cake » Sun May 12, 2013 8:50 pm

[quote]It's good to hear of Dorje Gurung's release. It's probably a good thing that he has the contacts he's made over the years at St. Xavier's, Grinnell, UWC, etc. I wonder if it would have played out different if he didn't have those contacts.[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing. Levels of support would vary for different individuals but the principal in a case of this nature, which I believe has been the driving force behind so many teacher's support, SHOULD stay the same.
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Postby heyteach » Sun May 12, 2013 9:19 pm

Overseasvet2, you echoed my thoughts very well. We don't know, and probably never will know, the full story of the events on both sides of the issue. This whole thread has been a 7th grade pile-on.

Getting Texas A&M (less than "tenuous" connection, I'd say), and the IBO involved are just silly. I'm sure IBO is well aware of the events even if they are not privy to the details. And what would they do, anyway? It's my take that they are involved in curriculum, not administrative issues.
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Postby AnnieT » Sun May 12, 2013 9:36 pm

[quote="heyteach"]Overseasvet2, you echoed my thoughts very well. We don't know, and probably never will know, the full story of the events on both sides of the issue. This whole thread has been a 7th grade pile-on.

Getting Texas A&M (less than "tenuous" connection, I'd say), and the IBO involved are just silly. I'm sure IBO is well aware of the events even if they are not privy to the details. And what would they do, anyway? It's my take that they are involved in curriculum, not administrative issues.[/quote]



I feel that the IB should be involved, havin the IB loo says something about a school ethos as well as everything else. The school did not pay for leal representation and washed hands with a "No Comment"

The students at the school now know that they can do whatever they like. I have contacted the IB by E=Mail and not had any reply yet.
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Postby mbovi » Sun May 12, 2013 10:23 pm

The IB should definitely consider a school's prolonged / continuous adherence to protecting " global citizenry " - something that the curriculum espouses to shape children into. Judging from Dorje Gurung's profile, he seems to be a good example of a " global citizen " that was just at the wrong place ( BUT NOT THE WRONG TIME ). This is the 21st century, Qatar Academy.

I definitely agree that the students in Qatar Academy will think that it's ok to do whatever they want.
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Jailed teacher

Postby Mick Travis » Mon May 13, 2013 4:13 am

I would second the comments above calling for the IBO to rescind the school's authorization.

But in an ideal world the IBO would not be authorising any schools in countries whose laws prevent the school from implementing the curriculum in full.

That includes anywhere in the Middle East governed by Islamic law, any country like Turkey governed by racist laws, or anywhere like China where it is a crime to 'insult' the principles of the state or question the legitimacy of the ruling ..

All such restrictions would seriously hamper the teaching of History, World Literature (there are authors on the IB's prescribed book lists who are heavily censored or banned in such countries) and above all - at the heart of the IB model - TOK, where syllabus requirements to debate 'faith' and 'ethics' as areas of knowledge, is surely compromised.

If as a teacher you fully implement the IB learner profile by teaching the kids to be risk takers, open minded to other cultures and ideas etc... you risk jail time in these countries.

I'm sure there are teachers out there who are only saved from this fate because their kids do not report everything that happens in the classroom.

But of course the IB will not withdraw authorisation. In fact, I'd like to know of a single school in the world that has had authorisation rescinded by the IBO. Ultimately it is all about the money.
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Postby Mike » Mon May 13, 2013 9:03 am

He's free and on a flight home!!

Now what to do about that school?? I have heard that some teachers have quit!
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Postby Dawson » Mon May 13, 2013 10:20 am

[quote="heyteach"]Overseasvet2, you echoed my thoughts very well. We don't know, and probably never will know, the full story of the events on both sides of the issue. This whole thread has been a 7th grade pile-on.

Getting Texas A&M (less than "tenuous" connection, I'd say), and the IBO involved are just silly. I'm sure IBO is well aware of the events even if they are not privy to the details. And what would they do, anyway? It's my take that they are involved in curriculum, not administrative issues.[/quote]

Wrong!!! Being an IB school really says a lot about a school. The school has failed in many facets of the program based on the ongoing harassment that this teacher endured. IBO should definitely investigate.

Furthermore, it's teachers like you that decide these things are just fine that really scare me. If you were wrongly imprisoned in a foreign country would you want doers (ones contacting people, posting to FB and getting the word out) or would you be fine if people just shrugged their shoulders and said "hmmm, we don't know the whole story". You sound like a really good team member to have on board (sarcasm).
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