Admissions to Indian schools at five-year low
February 19, 2018 | 9:39 PM
by Rahul Das/[email protected]
The drop in numbers will mean smaller class sizes for Indian pupils and no more need for afternoon shifts in schools

Muscat: The demand for admissions to Indian schools has slumped to a five-year low, latest figures have revealed.

This year, the Indian School Board received 4,400 applications, 17 per cent less as compared with the number of applications in 2017. Last year, the Board had received 5,300 applications and 5,100 students had finally taken admission in Indian Schools.

Further, according to statistics, the Indian School Board received 4,600 applications in 2014, 5,000 in 2015, 4,700 in 2016, and 5,300 in 2017.

Meanwhile, the online registration for admissions, KG I to Class IX, in Indian Schools in the capital area for academic session 2018-19 started on January 10, 2018, and ended at 2pm on February 15.

According to the Board of Directors of Indian schools in Oman, the tentative number of vacant seats in KG I was 2,290, with the maximum number being at the Indian School Muscat with 525 seats.

“We have received 2,450 new applications for KG I,” Wilson V. George, Chairman, Board of Directors of Indian Schools in Oman, said. In KG II, there are nearly 433 vacant seats, with Indian School Mabella having 153. “In KG II, we received 535 new applications,” the Board Chairman said. In Class I, Indian schools have 493 vacancies. “For Class I, we received 625 new applications,” he said.

With relatively less demand, the authorities can now accommodate most students in morning shifts.

“The afternoon shifts will need to continue in 2018-2019, but we will try to accommodate as many as possible in the morning shifts.

“No teacher will be surplus as we will be focusing on reducing the class size, “ George responded to a question.

The fall in the number of students could be due to various reasons, including the financial crisis, embargo on bringing the family for the first six months, and so on. “Last year, the numbers shot up as one of the private schools in Oman closed,” George explained.

The CEO of a private firm said, “Not many expatriates are coming to Oman because of fewer number of jobs in the country.” The number of educated expatriates is also dropping, with companies cutting down jobs, according to experts. Data shows that the number of expatriates holding PhD, master degrees, higher diplomas, and such has declined in recent months.

At the end of November 2017, the number of PhD holders was 2,678, but at the end of December 2016, it was 2,726. The number of master’s degree holders stood at 5,365 but at the end of December 2016, it was 5,680. The number of higher diploma and university students also dropped from 4,860 to 4,616 and 93,704 to 88,541, respectively, during the same period. The number of diploma holders dropped from 52,536 to 50,407 between December 2016 and November 2017, according to the National Centre for Statistics.

Indian parents who have applied, however, are happy. “Hopefully, we will get the school and the shift of our choice this year,” Keya, who has applied for her son’s admission to the Indian School Muscat, said.

The centralised system with online registration ( introduced by the board facilitates the entire admission process in these schools, including Indian School Muscat, Al Ghubra, Darsait, Al Wadi Al Kabir, Al Seeb, and Al Mabella.

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