‘Shifts’ sought in Indian schools to meet demand
January 31 2017 11:14 PM

In view of the acute shortage of seats in Qatar’s Indian schools, appeals are being made by several desperate parents for running classes in a shift system at some of the country’s expatriate schools.
Several community members also felt the only possible way to ensure maximum number of admissions at the schools was introducing the shift system until some of the new schools are ready by next year.
It is understood that the local authorities have issued six new licenses for starting Indian schools this year.
However, community members feel it is far from adequate to meet the actual admission requirements of the growing community.
The schools are expected to start the new academic year two months from now (on April 1) and admission processes are currently underway at most of them.
Owing to the apparently strict rules aiming at restricting the number of students on each campus put in place by the Supreme Education Council (SEC) since 2013, every expatriate school has been experiencing problems to meet the mounting demand for admissions and every year the sight of parents running from pillar to post for their wards’ admissions is a common sight.
As a result, even some of the schools where there was hardly any demand for admissions until a couple of years ago, are enjoying huge demand for seats this year.
“While we have only less than 180 seats, admission requests have come for more than 600,” said the managing committee member of one of the Indian schools.
No doubt, while some families were forced to send their children back home, others were compelled to seek admissions at some of the schools, the fees structure of which were apparently beyond their reach.
As in the last four academic years, the demand for admissions at most Indian schools has been enormous this year as well and virtually every day community elders and representatives of forums are accosted by numerous parents seeking admissions for their children.
“I have 13 or 14 requests so far for new admissions, mainly at three Indian schools and every day I am receiving new requests,” said a long time Doha resident, who is a familiar person in the community.
He said it has been extremely difficult for him to say `no’ to parents when they approach him for assistance in school admissions.
The country currently has 13 Indian expatriate schools, besides Al Khor International School, where Indian CBSE curriculum is also offered.
Community members are seeking the intervention of the country’s Indian embassy to explore with the educational authorities the possibility of introducing shift system this academic year itself.
“Such a move would go a long way in finding an immediate solution to the crisis,” said a parent who has two children seeking admission this year.
Some of them pointed out that at least two other Gulf countries have allowed shift systems at Indian expatriate schools to facilitate enrolment of maximum number of students.
Parents also complained that some of the Indian schools were trying to turn the situation to their advantage, by “announcing” hike in their tuition fees from the next academic year.

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