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

Updated 02 February 2015

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.

Saudi Arabia announces Khashoggi’s death, Trump calls it ‘good first step’

Updated 56 min 4 sec ago

Saudi Arabia announces Khashoggi’s death, Trump calls it ‘good first step’

  • The journalist died after a fistfight at the consulate in Istanbul
  • Deputy intelligence chief, royal court adviser removed from positions, 18 Saudis arrested

JEDDAH: US President Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia's announcement that suspects are in custody in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a "good first step" and said he would work with Congress on a US response.

“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable,” Trump said. Regarding the Saudi arrests, he said, “It's a big first step. It’s only a first step, but it’s a big first step.”

Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday the death of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying a preliminary investigation indicated he lost his life after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul... devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor.

Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with the incident and the investigation is ongoing, the public prosecutor said.

“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public opinion, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice,” a statement on the SPA said.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.

Deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Asiri was removed from his position and Saud Al-Qahtani from his advisory role at the Royal Court, through royal decrees.

Three other intelligence officials who were also sacked have been named as Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Rumaih, Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Shaya and Rashad bin Hamed Al-Muhamadi.

King Salman also ordered the creation of a ministerial committee, headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to restructure the country’s General Intelligence agency and issue the results of its work within a month.

Members of the committee include the interior and foreign ministers as well as the heads of the General Intelligence and State Security.

A team of Saudi investigators were sent to Istanbul and have been working on the case with Turkish detectives, who entered the consulate on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia promised a thorough and transparent investigation into what happened to the journalist in Turkey.

(With AP)