Oman


Row over fee hike in Seeb school



Muscat: A raging controversy over Indian School Seeb hiking school fees citing salary revision of the teachers has put the school management and guardians on a collision course.
While the school management committee justifies its new fee structure  a hike of RO5 a section of guardians are mulling legal proceedings against the school and the management committee arguing that the decision is against the provisions of the by-laws of Indian schools in the Sultanate of Oman as approved by the Ministry of Education in Oman.

"This is totally unacceptable to us as the majority of the parents belong to the lower middle class who would find it difficult to bear the additional burden. Moreover, it is contrary to the practices and conventions in Oman and therefore needs to be questioned and challenged," said Rajan Ramachandran Kavi, who served a legal notice (a copy of which is available with Times of Oman) to Indian School Seeb management committee and to the Principal on October 13, following a circular by school management committee on September 8, 2012. His two children study in Indian School Seeb.

Another parent, Venu V, said that the timing of the circular was the main issue. "Parents must be aware of any changes in the fee schedule and other charges before the start of the school year. This would have given much desired flexibility to parents in deciding whether their children would continue to pursue their studies at the Indian School Seeb or elsewhere," he said.
He added that a large number of parents have three to four children studying in school. "For them, it will be very difficult to pay," he said.

A section of parents also demanded that the hike in school fee with effect from the third quarter of the academic year be withdrawn and scrapped with immediate effect. "If it is not withdrawn we will be forced to take legal proceedings," said another parent, Mouidu A K, whose two children study in Indian School Seeb.

When contacted, George Mathew, president of the Management Committee of Seeb School, refused to comment on the issue. "I am not the right person to talk on this issue," he said.
In the circular, Mathew has justified the hike saying there had not been any hike in school fees for the past one year, while the number of teachers as well as their salaries had gone up. Also, the school was being given a new look with office upgradation, planting of trees and the introduction of a smart board in Grade XI science.

"So we have decided to have a fee hike of RO5 per month for smooth running of the school and to provide quality education to the students," he had said, in a written circular to the parents.

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