K.S. Ramkumar, Arab News
Publication Date: 
Thu, 2006-09-07 03:00

JEDDAH, 7 September 2006 — With the new regulations of the Ministry of Education in force, the International Indian School-Jeddah (IISJ) is expected to have a seven-member nominated Advisory Committee (AC). The school so far had a managing committee elected by parents.

“I’ve forwarded a list of 10 names from among the school’s parents to the ambassador, the patron of the school,” Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed told a press conference during the launch of “News Feed” on the consulate’s website.

“It’s for the patron to decide whether to have an elected AC or a nominated one,” he said, adding that he forwarded the nominations on the basis of a selection process that involves a study of the background of each nominated parent. “We want AC members to be of a good standing and be able to devote time to school affairs,” he added.

Asked how soon the AC would be nominated, the consul general said, “It’s ultimately for the ambassador to select seven names and forward them to the Ministry of Education (MOE) for its approval. Once the names are approved, we’ll go ahead with constituting the new body.”

Dr. Sayeed emphasized that the consulate would continue to monitor the school affairs like in the past and not be involved in its day-to-day work.

With some corrective steps taken at the school that has over 9,500 children on its rolls, the consulate has been able to bring down its deficit from SR2.7 million as of March 31, 2004, to SR750,000 in 2005 and to SR640,000 in 2006. “Our fee structure is the least among the three international Indian schools (the other two being in Riyadh and Dammam) and even if we increase the fee by SR10 the entire deficit can be wiped out within a year,” the consul general said.

The school’s reserve fund has also jumped from SR11 million as of March 2004 to SR19.2 million now, Sayeed said, adding that the school now has a new principal from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Assam.

He announced that the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is now licensed to operate in the Kingdom with the formal approval granted by the MOE.

“We conducted IGNOU exam at the consulate in June and will have the next exam in December,” Sayeed said.

The University of Hyderabad exams will be conducted at the consulate from Sept. 11-12. Those who have enrolled for these exams may contact G.S. Mundari, vice consul.

A high-level delegation from the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) headed by its Vice Chancellor Prof A.M. Pathan is visiting Jeddah from Sept. 11-17 on the invitation of the consulate. The delegation members include Registrar Farooq Ahmad and Professor K.R. Iqbal Ahmed, director, from the Directorate of Distance Education. MANUU is exploring the possibility of holding exams of distance mode programs in Jeddah starting from this academic year.

Sayeed said that the consulate, which has extended its consular tours to 12 cities in the Western Province, will organize its first free medical camp in Taif on Sept. 22, in coordination with several Pravasi organizations, doctors and paramedics.

India Forum will organize its annual indoor sports meet from tomorrow. Table tennis, badminton, chess and scrabble will be among the games played.

The consulate, which organized a month-long India festival here last year, will host an Asia cultural festival with the participation of 12 countries at the IISJ auditorium from Oct. 27-28.

About the launch of the News Feed, Sayeed said it would cover news pertaining to Haj, consular, community welfare, commercial, and press and information sections. It will give details of the visits of the important in-coming and outgoing delegations to and from India, forthcoming socio-cultural and business events and the activities of India Forum, Saudi-Indian Business Network, Indo-Saudi Medical Forum, Indian Education Council and the Indian Pilgrims’ Welfare Forum. It will also give details of the new books, magazines and audiovisual materials available at the consulate’s library. All press releases of the consulate and its affiliated organizations as well as any special announcements will also be put on the CGIJ News Feed.

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