Muscat: Demand for admissions to schools this year has declined, statistics issued by Asian schools in Oman show.
Speaking to the Times of Oman, Wilson George, chairman, Indian schools in the Sultanate, said the number of new applicants has considerably reduced in Indian schools this year. “This year, the Board has received around 4,700 applications for admissions in various classes of schools, while last year it had received around 5,300 applications from students,” he said.
However, despite this, the results of the first draw for admissions to six Indian schools in the Muscat capital area were announced on Thursday, with 1,600 students still placed on waiting list.
The number of seats available for the 2017 academic year stood around 2,446 this year for Indian Schools. “In the first draw we tried to fill up the existing vacancies. But we will try to accommodate everybody in the second draw, which will be held in the coming weeks,” George said.
“The drop in the number of children can be due to various reasons, including the financial crisis and then there is an embargo that you can’t bring in your family for the first six months and so on,” said a senior teacher at an Indian school.
The impact is not limited to the 19 Indian schools in the Sultanate. Pakistan schools and Bangladesh schools are also facing a similar situation. “We are expecting an about 20 per cent dip in new admissions this year. On the first day, around 75 students applied for new admissions. Last year, on the first day around 85 students had sought admissions,” said Mohammad Adnan Shehzad, the chairman of the Board of Directors of Pakistan Schools.
He also said that around 150 parents may opt for transfer certificates this year because of the prevailing economic situation this year. “Though we haven’t got any transfer certificates this year, we expect these transfer certificates to pour in after the exams are over,” he stated.
A senior official at Bangladesh School Muscat, also admitted in an e-mailed response that “There are a few cases recorded where students took transfer certificates due to their family’s financial crisis,” adding that number of students in school is rising.
“The number of the students at the beginning of the session was 1,473, but now we are having 2,027 students in Bangladesh School Muscat,” the official said. School authorities said it’s very hard to determine how many students are opting for transfer certificates because of the prevailing financial crisis. “Yes, many people (but also many are coming) are leaving, but the reasons are not given to our school,” said a senior teacher. Indian schools have issued around 500 transfer certificates to parents this year at six schools in the capital area. “The number is not alarmingly high,” George said.
Indian school authorities said that transfer certificates applications start pouring in from first week of March and continue till June every year.
As of today, the total number of students at all Indian schools stood at a staggering 44,500, while the number of students in Pakistan School stood at 6,000 in the Sultanate.