Rim Kabbara – Driving Change in the Education Sphere

Location –  7G2C+Q28, Musa Bin Omair St, Doha, Qatar

Website – https://sis-qatar.com/

Contact +974 4477 2228

Rim’s Prosopography

Rim Kabbara is a leader in the field of education with more than 21 years of experience in management, instruction, and teaching. She has great knowledge of different educational curriculums (American, British, and Lebanese). She occupies the role of school principal / executive director at Step One International School-Qatar since 2018.

She oversees the academic and operational departments. She developed the school’s strategic and operational plans and ensured the effective implementation of the school-wide action and development plans.

Mrs. Kabbara successfully led the school to receive national accreditation (QNSA) in 2019 by creating the school teams and committees’ structure, involving all stakeholders, and nurturing a positive, healthy, and effective school environment.

Mrs. Kabbara had joined Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Profession-Qatar since its foundation back in 2008 and played a major role in its success up to 2018. In September 2012, she was appointed Assistant Executive Director and served in the School Management Team

(SMT). Mrs. Kabbara expanded her role to Head the Department of Student Affairs where she assisted the school director in providing school-wide leadership performing administrative, and supervisory duties, and helping students achieve the benefits from designed academic/non-academic programs and services.

She successfully led the school through the National (QNSA) and International (AdvancED) accreditation and played a major role in its planning, and implementation phases. Mrs. Kabbara served on the Advisory Board of the school since 2015.

Prior to joining DeBakey, Mrs. Kabbara began her career in 2001 in the education field in Lebanon. She worked at the management department of Rawdat El Fayha’a Schools (one of the largest schools in Lebanon). In 2004, she moved with her family to Saudi Arabia and continued her career in education where she worked for 3 years as a teacher/coordinator.

With her ability to work with a high degree of accuracy, Mrs. Kabbara developed policies and procedures for the schools she joined, administered standardized tests (MAP-SAT10-PISA-TIMSS-PRILS-AP-CEM/InCAS-checkpoint), and developed school-wide

strategic plans. She supervised the implementation of the school instructional programs as well.

Mrs. Kabbara holds a Maitrise in Science degree in applied Mathematics, (Major computer science) from the Lebanese University (LU)-Beirut, multiple certificates in the Computer Science/programming field in addition to attending various college & career counseling workshops.

Born in Lebanon, Mrs. Kabbara is Married and has four children. She enjoys playing sports (Basketball, Volleyball & Tennis), designing, and gardening. She also cherishes spending time with her family and friends.

Use Technology in the Classroom

She believe that technology has a positive impact on student learning providing meaningful learning experiences causing them to be more engaged; thus, students often retain more information. SIS teachers use technology as a tool when it is the best resource to be used. All classrooms are equipped with interactive smart boards. Students have the chance to use the smart tablets as well as part of the individual, pair or group work. Technology is a powerful contributor to learning at SIS and is used to deepen students’ engagement

in the meaningful and intellectually authentic curriculum.

Making a Contribution to the Community

Focusing on Qatar, Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions was the first organization she worked for since its inception in 2008. She played a major role in developing the student affairs department in order to create higher education opportunities for graduates.

The school internship program with Calgary, the online AP course through the college board US, the dual credit program with Texas A&M, and the internship with Baylor College of Medicine US are a few of the many programs she put in place for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Step One International School

Step One International School at Qatar (SIS at Qatar) is a primary school, offering students Cambridge Primary Curriculum preparing them to be global citizens.

The broad balanced curriculum offered at SIS is predicated on a student-centered approach for developing the whole child.

The developmental pathways are psychological, emotional, academic, technical, and values based. This approach has provided SIS with an educational edge for over 10 years necessary to successfully prepare our students to compete in a global society.

The school is located on Nuaija Street near D Ring Road, and it opened in September 2010. The SIS program serves students in Years 1– 6. Classes have an average student/teacher ratio of 18:1. The regular school day begins at 7:00 AM and ends at 1:00 PM. The school is in the process of applying for the secondary level in an estimation to open a new campus for Year 7-12 students in August 2024.

Overcoming Tough Times

Decreasing the cumulative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ academic achievement remains the biggest challenge they faced on a daily basis. They tracked changes in Math and reading test scores across the first two years of the pandemic using data from the Cambridge CEM InCAS test. They focused on test scores from immediately before the pandemic (fall 2019), following the initial onset (fall 2020), and more than one year into pandemic disruptions (fall 2021).

The level drops were significantly large. Even more concerning, achievement tended to drop more between fall 2020 and 2021 than between fall 2019 and 2020, indicating that disruptions to learning have continued to negatively impact students well past the initial hits following the spring 2020 school closures.

These numbers were alarming and potentially demoralizing, especially given the heroic efforts of students to learn and educators to teach in incredibly trying times. To overcome these challenges, they bet on students’ capacity for resiliency in these circumstances and they projected a timeline for potential recovery over the upcoming years to remediate the gap without overwhelming the students and affecting their mental health. More hands-on courses were introduced, character-building programs were put in place and a lot of positive reinforcement opportunities were created to enable students to gain back what they lost during the pandemic.

Source of Inspiration

Mrs. Kabbara is motivated by the change education can make in the lives of children and its positive impact on their well-being and mental health. She comes to school every day with the intention to give my students the best and most exciting educational and lifelong experiences while at school. The change you see in them and the progress they make is rewarding to a point you cannot explain nor measure.

Her mother was a school director in Lebanon for all her life, she just retired a few years back. Seeing her perseverance, passion toward her profession, and the positive influence she had on all the stakeholders made her aspire to become a leader in the educational field and hopefully make a difference as she did!

Qatar’s Educational Scenario

Being in Qatar for almost 2 decades, she witnessed how Qatar’s education system evolved from small home schools to acclaimed international universities. The country’s focus today is to ensure that its youth are both academically and vocationally equipped to take the lead on the home front and to become major players in the international arena. The government has outlined a clear vision of leveraging its vast resources to diversify the economy away from oil and gas revenues.

Qatar’s National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030) and the National Development Strategy 2011-16 outline the country’s long-term social and economic goals and identify education as a critical vehicle for meeting these targets and have invested in reforming the sector and in developing new education initiatives, programs, and projects over the past two decades. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser became a leader in the field of education on an international level and persevered to transform the lives of millions of marginalized children and young people across the world through the Education Above All Foundation emphasizing the importance of education for all children across the globe and the right to education to enhance the quality of life.

An Eye on the Future

On a personal level, her goal is to complete a master’s degree in the field of educational leadership in the upcoming two years; On a professional level, she would focus on leading Step One International School, opening another campus, and growing its department of Special Educational Needs “The Bridge Department” to serve more SEN students.

Message for Students

Every student has his specific needs, physical, emotional, or psychological. Students have the ability to adapt and change faster than we think. They just need a role model, patience, and time. To students, she says: You can be whom you want to be, do not be intimidated by the voices suppressing you, hear it, use it to motivate you to push further. No one will live your life, focus on your path, put in the necessary efforts and you shall succeed. To educators, she says: Students need you to be their beacon of light, hold their hands and guide them through the challenges. Give them the time they need, and watch them blossom one after the other.

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