Times of Oman
Nov 28, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 08:29 AM GMT
Oman Indian schools crisis eased by extra classes
April 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Photo - Times of Oman

Muscat: Hundreds of anxious parents can heave a sigh of relief after the Ministry of Education gave the green light for extra classes at two Indian schools in Oman.

Around 430 Indian students were still waiting for admission to Kindergarten classes in Oman even after a series of draws were held during the last one month.

"The Ministry of Education has granted permission to start afternoon shifts in Indian School Mabella and Indian School Seeb. This will help us to accommodate the students who are waiting for admission," Wilson V. George, the chairman of Indian schools Board of Directors, told the Times of Oman.

Around 1,600 students were on the waiting list after the first round of draw for admission to the six Indian schools in the Muscat capital area in the first week of last month.

"Getting the permission to start afternoon shifts for two schools is a blessing for the Indian parents who were struggling to have their children admitted.

"Even though there are still some infrastructure hurdles, we will be able to admit the children soon," the chairman added.

Heavy rush
There was a heavy rush for admissions this year with approximately 4,600 applicants registering at six Indian schools for admission to Kindergarten to Class IX after the admission process was opened in December 2013.

Meanwhile, the Indian school authorities are still waiting to receive permission from the ministry to run a 'feeder school' in Al Ghubra, which will help them to create more seats and resolve the admission issues up to an extent.

While a few parents have got admission for their children in Kindergarten classes at some private schools and nurseries in the capital area, many are still waiting patiently for calls from Indian schools. "We waited for a call from the Indian schools but our child couldn't be admitted.  So, we have sent our child to a private nursery. Now, we will let him study there and when he is ready to be admitted to Class I, we will try our best once again to admit him to one of the Indian schools," Suresh Kumar, parent of KG1 student at a private nursery, said.

The number of seats available for the 2014-15 academic year stood at around 3,000 this year. Indian schools are the largest community schools in Oman where over 40,000 students are enrolled. There are 19 Indian schools in Oman.

A few weeks ago, the Times of Oman reported that class sizes in some expat schools in Muscat are set to hit 50 children per class this year as international schools work to accommodate the ever increasing numbers of students.

Speaking to the Times of Oman earlier, Fatma bint Abdul Abbas Noorani, director-general of private schools at the Ministry of Education said, "When international schools come to us with the proposal to expand, we always support them. "We sometimes liaise with the municipality and even suggest buildings and areas. However, we don't interfere in the acceptance of students because each school has its own regulations regarding intake."

To get in touch with the reporter: reji@timesofoman.com

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