Six new Indian schools to open next year
22 Dec 2016 - 8:32
Irfan Bukhari | The Peninsula
Amid continuing complaints about shortage of seats in Indian schools in Qatar, a senior official of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education said yesterday that the problem would be addressed as six new Indian schools would be opened in the next academic year.
With several Indian schools starting admission for the next academic year to the limited seats available, parents say that they have been forced to run from pillar to post looking for a seat for their kids.
Asked about the issue, Hamad Al Ghali, director of the Private Schools Office at the Ministry said that only two Indian schools have been told by the ministry to stop admissions since they already have students on their rolls beyond the permitted capacity.
“ We have asked the MES Indian School and the Ideal Indian School not to take any new students for the next academic year due to safety and security issues,” Al Ghali told The Peninsula.
The MES Indian School currently has about 8,000 students although the school premises have a capacity of only 5,000 students. The Ideal Indian School has 6,000 students, more than double the permitted capacity of 2,800 students.
“No other private school has been stopped from admitting new students for the 2017-2018 academic year. Six new Indian schools will open during the next academic year," said Al Ghali.
Officials of several Indian schools, however, claim that it is impossible to accommodate all children with their existing capacity.
Several parents say that they are being denied the opportunity to get a seat for children as admissions have started for kindergarten classes in several schools.
“I had been waiting for opening of admission for the past three months and I maintained regular contacts with almost all Indian schools. I was always told that soon they would announce admissions. Today (yesterday) when Birla Public School announced online registration for new admissions, the service was discontinued within minutes after it was announced open,” said Fateha, an India expatriate.
“Every time I tried I met the answer ‘error 404 – server not found’ and after few minutes I saw the message on the website that all seats had been filled,” she added.
When contacted yesterday, A K Srivatava, Principal, Birla Public School said that within 15-minutes after starting the online registration, as many as 165 applications had been registered. “We cannot go beyond our capacity,” he said, adding that parents have been facing problems as existing community schools were insufficient to meet growing population of Indian expatriate children.
Another parent, Meena Kumar narrated a similar story. “We started our efforts to secure a seat for our kid in September last year in KG 1 but with no success. Ultimately, we sacrificed one year of our child and got her admitted in another school in a lower level in playschool. This year again we have been seeking admission in KG 1 but we got the routine reply that schools have only limited seats with a priority for siblings," she said.
She said that despite her continuous efforts to fill in the online registration form on BPS website yesterday, she had failed as it was closed within no time.
Shahabuddin, Principal, Shantiniketan Indian School said that they had closed admission for KG 1 after receiving more than 600 applications. “We have four divisions for KG1 and in each class we can accommodate 30 students. It means we can take only 120 students as per the regulatory body’s directives,” he said, adding that a permanent solution to the problem lies in opening new community schools.