Expat schools to have more Omani teachers
January 9, 2018 | 9:26 PM
by Rahul Das/[email protected]

Muscat: Schools for expat children are hiring more and more Omanis, in line with a government ‘jobs for Omanis’ policy.

The boosted Omanisation rate across all Indian schools now stands at 17.5 per cent of all employees while the rate for Pakistan schools now stands at 28.6 per cent. Oman has embarked on a strict Omanisation drive and all private sector companies and establishments must employ more Omanis in order to secure clearances for expat staff.

“We now have around 350 Omani employees in 19 Indian schools which is more than 70 per cent of the administrative staff employed in these schools.

“By the end of 2013, we only had 150 Omanis across all of our schools,” Wilson V. George, Chairman, Board of Directors of Indian Schools in Oman, said. The total staffing level across all Indian schools is currently 2,000.

The scene is similar with the Pakistan Schools also.“We have around 40 Omanis working in seven Pakistan Schools in Oman,” a spokesperson of Pakistan School said.

Around 6,000 students study at seven Pakistan Schools where 140 people are employed.“We are following the Omanisation policies to get clearances for our staff,” Ataullah Niazi, Senior Principal of Pakistan Schools in Oman, said.

Wilson V. George added: “The Indian board is also proposing Omanisation for all teaching assistants, non-teaching staff and teaching staff for some selected subjects in all the schools. “This will see the schools recruiting more Omani employees in order to maintain the rate set by the government,” he said.

In the last three years, the schools recruited 125 Omanis and provided on-the-job training to them to enhance their skills. “We have a hassle-free working environment with the full support of Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Education by meeting their requirements meticulously.

For the first time in the history of Indian schools, there are no pending applications with the ministries and we are happy and thankful about this achievement,” George said.

A large number of approvals are needed to hire a teacher, and the process is time consuming.“That is the reason we apply early as this takes time,” Wilson said.

“Teachers, unlike other job categories, have to seek attestations from different agencies in their home countries,” he said .

“Then there are other procedures that we have to follow here with the Ministry of Manpower and Education,” he added.

Officials of Pakistani school say it takes four to six months to bring a teacher from Pakistan.“If we have to recruit a teacher from Pakistan, it takes four to six months as they have to get all the documents attested in both Pakistan and Oman,” Ataullah Niazi said.

That is one of the reasons the Pakistan Schools asks for a notice period of two to three months if any staff member resigns.“If anyone resigns between August and January then he or she has to serve a notice period of three months and if someone resigns in between February and July then he has to serve a notice period of two months,” an official said.

Visit visa teachers and people on family visas are not allowed to work in Oman schools by the authorities. The Oman government has set rates of Omanisation for companies across the Sultanate.

These rates vary for teaching and non-teaching roles in private educational establishments.

When a company hires the required number of Omanis, the government then allows the hiring of expatriate workers.

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