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.

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”