Muscat: Expat parents in Oman are struggling to find school places for their children.
Pressure is building on schools of other nationalities after more than 1,600 school students were kept on the waiting list for admissions at six Indian schools in the capital area.
Neel Subasinghe, principal, Sri Lankan School Muscat, admitted that there is great demand for Grade VI and below students at the Sri Lankan School Muscat. “In higher classes, we can accommodate a few students, but we can’t take any more students for Grade VI and below in this year because our class rooms are saturated.”
Sri Lankan students applying to the school don’t have a waiting list as the school is constitutionally bound to admit them. The total number of students at the Sri Lankan School Muscat currently stands at 1,213.
Ataullah Niazi, senior principal of Pakistan Schools in Oman said some students were being kept on a waiting list in six branch schools of Pakistan Schools in Oman.
“However, we have managed to clear the waiting list in Pakistan School Muscat and we admitted around 200 students this month,” he said. The new classes for Pakistan School Muscat start on April 2.
The Principal of Bangladesh School Muscat, Lt Col Mahmud ul Alam, said they take admission tests for students and only absorb students who pass these tests. “Students who don’t do well in admission tests are not encouraged to take admission,” he said, adding that their admission procedures will start from May and will continue till June 20.
Parents of children studying in Bangladesh School said the rush is in the reception class. “Normally, the school doesn’t turn down the application process, but when they do they do it when there is a lack of seats or when some students fare very badly in the exams,” a parent said.
Wilson George, chairman, Board of Directors, Indian schools in Sultanate of Oman, said they will try to accommodate all students of Indian Schools during the next draw this month.
“This year, the board received around 5,100 eligible applications for admissions in various classes in Indian schools in the capital, but only 3,485 children were admitted in the first draw as only 3,485 seats could be made available in the first round of admission process, ” he said.