Kerala

Saudi to terminate expat school Principals

An order of the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia asking management of all private and international schools to dismiss expatriate Principals has evoked mixed response among Non Resident Indians (NRI), especially Keralites.

Many feel that the quality of education and discipline will be compromised and that school managements will substantially increase the tuition fees in the wake of the new rule. “Private schools will be forced to create a new post to accommodate a Saudi national. How this will pan out in academics and discipline will be seen in the near future,” said P. Bincy, a parent and teacher at Damman.

She said that schools adhering to any system – Indian CBSE or ICSE or Cambridge IGCSE – will increase the fees. “Now the monthly fee ranges from 300 to 500 Saudi Riyals. The fees are higher in American schools,” Ms. Bincy said.

Immediate effect

In a circular, Deputy Minister of Education Abdul Rahman Al Asmi asked all schools across Saudi Arabia to implement the decision with immediate effect. Subsequently only Saudis will be eligible to work as the principal in private and international schools.

However, many others feel that the infrastructure of schools will improve with the Saudi national at the helm. “Most Indian schools are only interested in monetary benefits rather than improving the academic quality. So a qualified Saudi monitoring an educational institution will be a game changer. Incidentally most of the Saudi kids are in Arabic schools which have good infrastructure and also professional teachers,” a teacher who wanted to remain anonymous said.

He also pointed out that the education imparted in the majority of Indian schools are rated unsatisfactory when compared to the schools in Kerala. “So the new rule of appointing a qualified Saudi will definitely improve the pedagogical methods,” he said.

To impact pvt. schools

But the new rule will also come at a price for the private schools. “Most of the private schools are now closing because expatriates have started returning home either due to COVID-19 or financial crisis. A school strictly following the norms of the Ministry of Education will incur high expenditure. Now school management will cut the already low salaries of the teachers,” he said.

The new order, many believe, is the part of Saudization, a policy aimed at filling up their workforce with Saudi nationals. However, the ambitious quota scheme has not yielded even moderate success, they say. The majority of Saudi nationals are paid better salaries for the sake that they have been on the employment rolls, a NRI, who has a valid licence from the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, said.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 7:09:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/saudi-to-terminate-expat-school-principals/article32346084.ece

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