CBSE principals to discuss academic progress

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Principals of nearly 40 schools in the Kingdom affiliated with the New Delhi-based Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will meet in Jeddah for a three-day annual conclave beginning on Saturday, to discuss academic progress, high teacher turnover and other critical issues.

The conference is being hosted this year by the International Indian School in Jeddah (IISJ) led by Principal Syed Masood Ahmed.

Among the prominent attendees at the event will be International Indian School-Dammam (IISD) Principal E.K. Mohammad Shaffe, International Indian School-Jubail Principal Dr. Syed Hameed, International Indian School-Riyadh (IISR) Principal Dr. S.M. Shaukat Perwez, International Indian School-Buraidah Principal Col. J.A. Rocque, Delhi Public School-Riyadh Principal Mairaj Mohammad Khan and Dunes International School-Alkhobar Principal Dharminder Manon.

The annual conclave, entitled “Education for Peace and Development,” provides an ideal opportunity for the principals to chalk out the new academic calendar, such as the scheduling of examinations and vacations, and to discuss several other vital issues, including any new changes in curricula. “The three-day conference, to be opened by Indian Consul General B.S. Mubarak at the IISJ Boys Section on Saturday morning, will focus on common issues and challenges and conduct a thorough analysis of the academic progress (at the schools),” Masood Ahmed told Arab News on Wednesday.

There are nearly 40 schools affiliated to the CBSE with around 100,000, mostly Indian, students. Of these, 10 are community schools, such as the IISJ, IISR, IISD, IIS-Jubail, International Indian Public School-Riyadh, IIS-Buraidah, IIS-Taif, IIS-Tabuk, IIS-Khafji and IIS-Majmaa. They have nearly 60,000 Indian children, with the other 30 private schools having nearly 40,000.

“The primary focus of such conferences is academic performance,” said Hameed. “We take this opportunity to discuss success stories and innovative ideas at different schools and try to replicate them at other schools.”

Each principal gets an opportunity to showcase the academic highlight of his or her school. “The medley of ideas at such brainstorming forums instill a sense of healthy competition among our schools,” said Masood Ahmed. “All preparations are in place to receive the principals and students who will take part in the Cluster Meet that begins on Oct. 26 at King Abdullah Sports City, at the end of the conference of principals,” said Masood Ahmed.

The conference is also expected to discuss the impact of new recruitment laws and procedures on the functioning of schools. One major problem that bedevils CBSE-affiliated private schools is the high turnover of teachers.

“We have seen on many occasions that teachers, especially at private schools, leave in the middle of academic sessions to join other institutions for better pay,” said one principal. “This creates problems and, therefore, we want to discourage this job-hopping phenomena during academic sessions. Even Saudi laws prohibit such behavior,” he said.

Charge d’ Affaires Hemant Kotalwar will preside over the valedictory function on Oct. 26.


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