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Free extra classes for Indian school students
September 12, 2018 | 8:36 PM
by Times News Service
Earlier, the principals of Indian schools were told to stop private tution after school hours
 
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Muscat: Indian schools in Oman will soon roll out after-school classes for students who wish to improve their grades at the upcoming senior school exams, after the Board of Directors (BoD) of Indian Schools in Oman took the decision to provide help to students in the Sultanate.

The move comes just a few days after the board had issued a letter to the principals of the 20 Indian schools in the country, ordering all teachers to stop extra-curricular private tuition after school hours.

These free classes can be taken by students from Classes IX to XII at no extra cost, and are currently being introduced at Indian School Muscat (ISM), the largest Indian school in Oman, with expressions of interest being submitted to the other schools in the country.

Subjects



For students of Classes IX and X, the subjects taught will include mathematics, science, social studies and the second language students have selected, while for students of Classes XI and XII, the subjects will include mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, accountancy, business studies, computer science and informatics practices.

A circular issued by Indian School Muscat said: “As part of our commitment towards the academic improvement of your ward, it has been decided by the School Management Committee and School Administration to conduct extended academic enrichment sessions for interested students, irrespective of their academic performance, through separate sessions.”

“The main purpose of these sessions is to provide more focused attention in those subjects which students believe should be improved upon in order to excel in their academics,” added the circular.

“Apart from being handled by eminent subject experts, these sessions are expected to bring about considerable enhancement of knowledge on the subject through additional notes and the coverage of topics.”

Speaking to the Times of Oman, a senior school administrator for Indian Schools in Oman said that teachers would be compensated for the additional time they’d be spending in school.

“All our teachers will be remunerated pretty well for all the services they will be providing,” he said. “The same academic enhancement programme will be issued to all the schools. We have sent an expression of interest similar to the one sent to ISM to all schools, and based on the response, these classes will begin shortly.”

The administrator added that this academic enrichment programme was different from the Gurukul programme that had been introduced in certain schools across Oman, which was aimed at more individual interaction and was primarily created for students to raise any doubts they had with the teachers.

“The Gurukul classes are slightly different and will continue,” he said. “We have these in Salalah, Nizwa, Muladha and other schools. This is different from that, and is for children from Classes IX to XII. This will not provide any further financial burden on either parents or teachers.”

In context to the new measures being implemented in the Vision 2020 document, Dr CM Najeeb, Vice Chairman of the BoD, said: “The key factor to note is that we should at no time let our collective guards down. We should, instead, utilise our energies, focus and determination to overcome all odds and achieve good results in all areas at all times. In addition, the main objective of the BoD and School Management has been to educate our children to excel in life with exemplary values and goodness.”

MSR Faizi, Finance Director for the board, added: “It’s equally challenging for the Board to run these institutions of learning since there has been a steady growth in the number of new admissions to Indian Schools. This situation not only resulted in stretching existing resources to maximum capacity but also forced the administration to look for avenues to establish new schools to meet the demands. Such bold steps to establish new schools are backed by the parent fraternity through their active participation in these initiatives.”

The new measures implemented in schools seemed to split opinion among parents in the nation.

Mohammed Vahidullah, a parent with two school-going children, said, “For a long time, the school has been saying ‘don’t send your children for tuitions because it is not correct’ but did not provide an alternative. For the first time, it is providing us another facility so it is a good step. But we don’t know how good it will be, so we will have to wait and see.”

Celine Dias, a mother whose son will soon be giving his exams, was against the move. “The exams will begin soon and this is not the time to introduce such measures. If they wanted to do this, they should have done so at the start of the academic term, not just a few days before the exams. My son has already developed a good rapport with his tutor, and you need that for him to learn well.”

“The school teacher who will be taking these lessons may not have the same wavelength as him and his grades could suffer,” she added. “We have to soon begin applying to good universities, and his grades are really important to us, so he needs to focus all his efforts on studying, not undergoing such a change at such a crucial time.”

Parents who are interested in applying for these academic enrichment classes can do so on the Indian School Muscat website, until September 15, after which they can approach the Vice Principal of the Senior School section and notify him of their intention to sign up for these classes.

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