Oman


Ex-vice principal wins court case



Muscat: Terrence Eardley Dique, the former vice principal of Indian School Al Seeb (ISAS), who had approached the court last year, seeking justice for what he claimed was a case of wrongful termination, received a verdict in his favour last Sunday.

"The Muscat Primary Court has determined that my termination in June 2012 by ISAS was 'arbitrary' and 'illegal,' and it has also awarded compensation for my 'illegal termination.'
"I am happy about winning the case, but I am sad to say that in spite of my termination being termed 'illegal' by the court, the school and concerned authorities are still not ready to accept the verdict and have refused to reinstate me," Terrence told Times
of Oman.

"Now, I humbly request the Embassy of India and the Ministry of Private Education to urgently look into my case. Since the court has determined that my termination was 'illegal,' I would like to rejoin the school. Does anyone have the right to cut short my career and my future in this manner? I was terminated without any cause. How can people get away with terminating me illegally?" he demanded.

Meanwhile, the Indian schools Board of Directors' Chairman, Tonny George Alexander said he had not yet seen the court verdict, and that he won't comment until he see it.
According to Terrence, he had served the various Indian schools in the Sultanate for the past 21 years. During this period, he was not given any memorandums or warning letters and was terminated without notice.

'Justice' served
"The termination procedure that the school management followed was against the Omani labour law. I waited for justice. I knocked on all the doors, but nobody had the patience to hear my grievances. So, I decided to approach the court. Now, the court has handed down a verdict in my favour. The truth always prevails," Terrence added.

"I was not given any reason for my termination by the school management. I have done nothing wrong at the school. I have only worked for the development of the school," Terrence said, alleging that since he had been transferred from the Indian School Muscat as a vice principal, the ISAS did not have the right to terminate him.

The termination letter notes that Terrence was terminated in accordance with a recommendation made by the School Management Committee (SMC). But the former vice principal claimed that the SMC's decision had not been unanimous.

"Three out of five SMC members have told me that my termination was not even discussed at the SMC meetings," Terrence alleged — a claim that had been corroborated by an SMC
member earlier.

"His termination was not discussed, and it was not a unanimous decision," the SMC member had told Times of Oman in 2012.

Meanwhile, the parents of students at ISAS said the court verdict could be seen as a slap in the face of the SMC president.

"We are not going to discuss the merits and demerits of the case. The court has settled the matter. Now, we want to know who will pay for the compensation mandated by the court verdict. Terminating Terrence was not a unanimous action by the SMC. Many members had disagreed with his termination. So, we won't allow the SMC and the decision-makers to take money from the school's funds to pay for Terrence's compensation," a group of parents said.

"The school is already facing many problems and a shortage in funds because of the mismanagement of the SMC and school officials. We, the parents of the students, are suffering. So, we won't allow them to take even a single penny from the school's funds to pay for the compensation. If they take money from the school's funds, we will file a suit against the school," they added.

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