Muscat: New regulations have been issued to form Student Affairs Committees in all government schools and all Ministry of Education Directorates in the Sultanate.
The new committees will monitor attendance, behaviour and ensure banned items, such as chewing gum is not brought into school.
Under the new ministerial decision, every school must create a Student Affairs Committee, and each Ministry Directorate must also have a committee, which oversees the district’s government schools and school committees.
According to the decision, the school Student Affairs Committees shall adhere to several guidelines and goals, among them to inform and involve parents with regards to school attendance, and behavioural discipline.
“The Committee must activate parents’ roles with regards to student violations, and educate parents and students on these guidelines. They must monitor cases of late attendance and behavioural violations, as well as follow up with necessary actions in accordance with the guidelines,” the ministry explained.
The Ministry lists up to 13 guidelines for students that the committee is to monitor and enforce, including students’ timely arrival at school, calm behaviour in classes, maintaining hygiene with nails and hair, keeping to the dress code and school uniform, taking care of school property, and respecting their fellow classmates and superiors.
The guidelines also list several banned objects from schools, including chewing gum, carbonated drinks, tobacco and cigarettes, matchsticks and lighters, glass and sharp objects, fireworks and explosives, laser products, among others.
The school principals shall serve as president of the school Student Affairs Committees, and they must consist of varied membership of staff and school teachers.
“Membership should consist of an assistant to the Principal, to serve as vice president of the committee. Three teaching authorities should serve as members. One Database Specialist should serve as a member. A social or psychological specialist should serve as a member and decision maker. The committee may authorise its president or a member to attend directly to one of its guidelines,” the ministry said.
The Student Affairs Committee is also charged with following up on guidelines in relation to student enrolment, their registration, and their transfer between schools. The Decision also directs all General Directorates of Education in the governorates to form a “Student Affairs Committee,” with an assistant to the Director-Generals at the directorates serving as the president.
The Directorate’s Student Affairs Committees would also look into student violations and take all necessary action in accordance to the guidelines. Members must analyse performance indicators with the school Student Affairs Committees, and give suggestions for improvement.
The Ministerial Decision also explains that if a student is in violation of school attendance or behavioural guidelines, and their case has been raised to the Directorate’s Committee, they will not be allowed to attend school until a decision is issued by the committee.
“This period shall be considered an excused absence for the student. The School Committee shall have the right to allow the student—after more than seven academic days—to resume studies temporarily until the decision from the Directorate’s Committee has been made. The Directorate’s Committee must decide on the student cases presented within seven working days from the date of their submission.
“The Directorate must notify the school, the student and his guardian of the decision issued with respect to the student. The student and his guardian shall have the right to appeal the decision within seven working days from the date of notification or knowledge thereof, and the appeal must be decided on within 15 working days from the date of its submission. The passing of this duration of time without reply shall be considered as an acceptance of the appeal,” the Ministry said.
The membership of the Directorate’s Committee is to include seven members of various expertise in the Directorates.
“Members must include the Director of the Department of Educational Evaluation as Vice President, the Director of the Department of Educational Programmes as a member, the Head of the Department of School Performance Development or a Senior Administrative Officer as a member, a psychological guidance supervisor, a social guidance supervisor, a legal researcher, and the Head of Analysis and Studies Department or a member of the Technical Examinations and Student Affairs department as a member and decision maker,” the Ministry explained.