IISJ plans higher fees; says expansion needed to admit more students

Updated 02 February 2015
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IISJ plans higher fees; says expansion needed to admit more students

The International Indian School, Jeddah (IISJ) has vowed to solve the admission problem facing thousands of Indian students and has taken practical steps to admit all applicants for the next academic year.
“We are now in the process of renting a new building to accommodate all students who need admission,” said Mohammed Raziq Abdul Vahid, president of the school’s managing committee.
The committee also disclosed plans to increase fees to meet growing expenses and raise salaries of teachers.
“In order to expand and modernize the school’s infrastructure facilities we need more funds,” Abdul Vahid said, adding that a decision on the new salary and fee structures would be taken by the Higher Board.
IISJ, which has nearly 12,000 students including girls, receives about 7,000 applications for new admissions every year.
“In recent years, the school was able to admit only 700 students annually because of space constraints. If IISJ is able to admit all the applicants, it would become the largest school in the world, with nearly 20,000 students,” the president said.
“We are looking for a land to construct a new building. We are also looking for investors who can purchase the land and build the school. We have received tenders from Saudi investors and we are now evaluating them.”
Speaking about short-term solution, he said: “We are looking for a suitable building in Aziziya to accommodate more students with the permission of the Education Ministry. We’ll shift either the 1-2 block or 3-5 block including girls to the new building.” He urged parents to support the committee to solve the admission problem of their children by finding a suitable building.
Abdul Vahid said IISJ has the lowest fee structure compared to international Indian schools in Riyadh and Dammam. “The Higher Board has advised us to increase the fee because of a need to increase the salary structure of teachers. The ambassador has told us that we have to find fund for new expenses by raising fees and keep the reserve fund for infrastructure projects.”
Haroon Rasheed said the school was finding it difficult to get qualified teachers. “We need more teachers to open new divisions and admit more students. We have applied for 35 visas through the Ministry of Education. After receiving approval, we’ll submit the application to the Labor Office to issue visas.” He said smart boards and smart classrooms would be introduced soon to improve quality of education. The new admission schedule would be published by mid-February.
Ahmed Hashmi disclosed the committee’s plan to set up a bank of teachers for all subjects after publishing advertisements in Indian newspapers. “We’ll recruit teachers from this bank whenever we need them,” he added. Hashmi said teachers were not ready to come on the basis of the present salary structure. “When we increase the salary of teachers, we’ll be forced to increase fees.”
Referring to ongoing efforts to establish a school for students from Makkah, Mohammed Quraishi said: “We have told parents in Makkah to find a land or a suitable building between Makkah and Jeddah to open a branch school to accommodate Makkah students. The committee will extend all possible support to resolve the problems facing these students.”
Meanwhile, IISJ has opened the facility of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for classes X and XII students. NIOS is an India government run Open School System equal to CBSE. Students can register for Class X directly after passing Class VIII. Students who do not possess Class VIII pass certificate can also register for Class X if they complete certain formalities. Students can register for Class XII after clearing Class X exam, a NIOS official said.


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.