Muscat: Following a dip in admissions over the past couple of years, the new 2023-2024 session is set to return to normalcy witnessed by the Indian schools in the Sultanate of Oman. The fall in admissions was attributed to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic that had led to an exodus of the expatriate community.
However, with normalcy returning and a large number of expatriates returning to the country, admissions sought in Indian schools in Oman have touched the pre-COVID level, according to Dr Sivakumar Manickam, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Indian Schools in Oman.
In his remarks to Times of Oman, Manickam said: “This year, the Indian School board received a total of 4,677 applications, up from 2,530 in 2021. In 2020, the number of new applicants for Indian Schools in the capital area was 3,744.”
He added: “However, many children of the kindergarten did not take admissions due to sudden lock down and the online classes. There was a sharp fall in admissions in 2021 due to COVID pandemic with only 2,530 students seeking admissions in the draw. There was less intake of admissions in kindergarten during that year. Many parents left for their homeland due to lay off and the exodus affected the entire schooling system.”
Manickam said: “The admissions in Indian schools regained strength in 2022 when all the kindergarten children who were home-tutored took admission directly in Class I. Besides the new admissions in the kindergarten, a total number of 3,621 participated in the draw for allotment of seats as the schools resumed onsite classes. The numbers last year were very close to the pre-Covid period.
“However, in 2023, the numbers started rising and a total number of 3,732 participated in the online draw for admissions which was held in the first week of March 2023. Additionally, almost 1,000 more students have joined since then and the total intake of students in the schools in the capital area alone stands at 4,677 till date,” he added.
It may be mentioned that Indian schools had received 4,400 applications in 2018 and the latest numbers underline the return of normalcy.
Manickam said: “All the 4,677 children who applied for admission in the capital area have been allotted seats. The numbers are of admission of students from KG 1 to Class IX standards. The board is committed to ensure that no child is deprived of admission in our schools.”
He said: “The centralised admission system with online registration introduced by the board has facilitated the entire admission process, making it convenient for parents and schools to take care of the rush for admissions.”
Manickam said: “The relaxation of rules by the Government of Oman in allowing families to stay with people having a salary of OMR 150 have also helped people bring their kids. The post-COVID ere has also led to many expats returning to Oman with their families.”
The online registration for admissions in Indian schools in the capital area is open for the new applicants.
For admissions in the international wing of Indian School Al Wadi Al Kabir and Indian School Al Ghubra, parents can approach these schools directly.
Admissions for children with special needs are open at Care and Special Education (CSE) which is located on the Indian School Muscat premises. Parents can approach the CSE administration directly for admission.