By Joseph Varghese
Several parents are approaching Indian schools with frantic queries on admission for their children for the next academic year, which begins in April, as the admission process is about to start in many schools, it is learnt.
Officials of schools, however, said they would not be able to accommodate all the requests as they would have to abide by the directions of the Supreme Education Council (SEC).
This has led to anxiety among parents as they raise concerns over the availability of seats, affordability of fees as well as the choice of schools. Many of them feel they will not be able to admit their children in their school of choice.
“A major factor is the availability of seats. In many cases, we cannot have the school of our choice as the number of seats is very limited. Another factor is affordability. If I do not get admission in any of the schools that charge moderate fees, it will be a big problem for me as other schools are very expensive and I cannot afford it,” said one of the parents.
Another area of concern is admission for students in higher classes. There are a large number of children who are undergoing KG classes in several nurseries. The parents wonder how they will be able to get admission in Class 1.
Similarly, there are parents who want to change their children’s school for higher classes. Many of them had to admit their children in a particular school as they were not able to get seats in other institutes. This also cannot be worked out in the present situation, it is pointed out.
Another set of parents wants to bring their children, who are currently studying in India, to Qatar when the new academic year starts. However, all the new schools have classes only at the primary level and they will not be able to provide seats for higher classes, say sources.
Meanwhile, explaining the situation faced by schools, MES Indian School principal A P Sasidharan said they have not got permission from the SEC so far to admit any child for the next academic year. “Last year, we did not admit a single child as we were not permitted by the SEC. We have written to the SEC for permission but so far have not got any response,” he explained.
“We are looking for other premises to set up our KG classes but the rents are very high and the economics cannot be worked out. We charge the lowest fees, which is less than QR250 for KG classes monthly. We admit around 600 to 700 students per year and the fees will not even be sufficient to pay the rent,” the official added.
Birla Public School principal A K Shrivastava said admission to KG has been completed. “We closed admission for KG classes a few days ago. We do not have any vacancy for classes 1 to 12. There might be some vacancies in the international curriculum depending on students who might opt out. So, we do not have any vacancy for any classes for this year. The situation will be the same in the coming years, too,” he added.
Syed Shoukat Ali, principal of Ideal Indian School, pointed out that the school is about to start the admission process. “We will complete the process by December-January. As of now, we will be able to provide admission for KG 1 and a few seats in higher classes according to the vacancy in each class. I am afraid it will be very few and we will not be able to help many in this regard.”
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