Muscat: Indian schools in Oman affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will now have to upload finance, general, management, infrastructure, staff, and other details mandatorily on CBSE’s and school’s websites, the authority has said.
The deadline to upload details, which is aimed at transparency, is November 30. In a circular quoting the affiliation by-laws of the Board under Chapter 2 Clause 11.1, CBSE stated that, “Fees charged should be commensurate with the facilities provided by the Institution.”
“Therefore, as a step towards bringing transparency on the facilities provided by the schools for information of the Board, parents, students and other stakeholders, it has been decided to make the mandatory disclosure of information as per the enclosed annexure by every institution/school affiliated with the Board,” the circular read.
The earlier deadline was October 31; however, as schools have failed to upload the details, the Board has extended the deadline.
Even though the Indian Schools’ Board Chairman refused comment and provide details of the mandatory disclosure, the Board’s New Delhi office officially said all schools affiliated to CBSE are required to follow the guidelines/ circulars issued by it from time to time.
“The objective of getting the information from the affiliated schools is to facilitate the Board to plan for examination, evaluations and academic activities efficiently,” the Board wrote in an email to the Times of Oman, adding that three Indian Schools in Oman have already uploaded the basic details, whereas eight Indian Schools in Oman are in the process of doing so.
The mandatory disclosure covers an unprecedented wide range of information—from the number of taps to fee break-up, WiFi speed, admission results, reserve funds and balance sheets.
Welcoming the move, Indian school parents said it will bring in transparency for sure. A parent and a sub-committee member at the Indian School Muscat (ISM) said he was really happy to hear about the CBSE circular.
“For a long time, we have been demanding for this. As a community school, parents are the real owners and the School Management Committee is supposed to be a committee of volunteers in selfless service. The details that the CBSE is now asking schools to disclose is supposed to be given to the parents. But here, they are keeping everything a secret,” Selvichen Jacob, a parent and sub-committee member, told the Times of Oman.
“Indian schools in Oman are functioning on the basis of a written by-law (internal regulation), effective October 30, 2010. But unfortunately this by-law is not sufficient to safeguard the best interests of this community school. This should be amended at the earliest. We are not happy about the present management system for better transparency,” Jacob added.
A teacher from one of the Indian schools in Muscat said a majority of schools are not very transparent and if CBSE has come up with such a move, it is a laudable one.
“One of the main stakeholders in the schools are parents. They have the right to know what the schools are doing and how they are progressing. So, we as teachers will be very happy with whatever steps the Board takes to ensure transparency,” the teacher added.
Indian media have reported that even though it has been welcomed by parents, the CBSE’s decision has irked the school.
The reports also cited different reasons, stating that the schools have raised an objection against disclosing these details.