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No more crowded classrooms in Oman

Expat students returning to classrooms when schools reopen will find them less congested, as many have taken transfer certificates with their parents leaving Oman.

According to statistics, more than 3,000 students from Indian schools in the country obtained transfer certificates between April and August, with the highest number of cases being reported from Indian School Sohar, where close to 500 students opted for transfer certificates.

Besides Indian School Sohar, a big drop in student numbers was reported from Indian School Muscat (378) followed by Indian School Salalah (330) and Indian School Muladha (313).

Indian School Wadi Kabir, Indian School Darsait and Indian School Maabela all reported more than 200 students leaving their institutions.

Pakistan schools have issued transfer certificates to about 450 students in the recent months.

“We had about 5,700 students enrolled in our schools, but that number has now dropped to 5,250,” said Mohammed Zia-Ul-Haq Siddiqui, the chairman of the Steering Committee for the Pakistan School System in Oman.

He also said that Pakistani schools have seen only a 7.9 percent drop in the number of students this year, as we are asking for fees for 10 months.

“And many of the parents who can’t afford costlier schools elsewhere are putting their children with us,” he said.

While the administrators of Bangladesh schools in the country are yet to determine the exact number of students who’ve left their schools, only about 56 per cent of students have enrolled for online classes after schools were told to close temporarily to stop the spread of the pandemic.

“From 3,000 students in five Bangladesh schools, around 1,800 attended the online classes. We will come to know about the exact number of dropouts only after the schools resume in November,” said Dr. Mohammad Sazzad Hossain Chowdhury, Chairman, Board of Directors, Bangladesh School Muscat and Branches.

Mohammed Sadawi, a member of Egyptian School Board in Oman, also admitted that a large number of Egyptian parents left Oman and some even moved to other schools because of the lower fees. “But we don’t have the statistics as the new year of schools has not started,” he said.

In Sri Lankan School, more than 100 students have taken transfer certificates in recent months. “We had around 1,400 students of which 103 children took transfer certificates due to various reasons,” an official at the Sri Lankan Embassy said.

According to data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information, Oman’s expatriate population stood at 1,943,638 on 1 March, 2020, and had fallen to 1,727,243 on 13 September, reflecting a drop of 216,395.

“More than 200,000 people have left the country in the last few months so it was obvious it would impact attendance numbers in school as well,” said an educator.

The decline in expat numbers corresponds to the number of repatriation, chartered and special flights set up to take foreign nationals back home from Oman.

On September 12, 2020, the number of Omanis stood at 2,734, 786 (61.3 percent), while the number of expats was 1,728,568 (38.7 percent).

Source: Times Of Oman

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