'Indian school board election is farce', said Indian parents in Oman

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Muscat, Feb.27 (ANI): Social workers and parents have criticized the first elections of the Indian school board in Oman, calling it a farce.

"The whole process, right from the composition of the board to the procedure of the election is a farce and the process as announced by the Election Committee is unheard of in any democratic system," said P.M. Jabir, Community Welfare Secretary at the Indian Social Club.

Jabir also pointed the Chairman of Indian School Board Yousuf Nalwalla, continuing as president of the board much after his term was over.

He said: "The same names have continued on the board as well as School Management Committee (SMC) for almost one decade."

"As a parent I was not aware of any such move although we have been waiting to hear about elections for the last five years", said Imtiaz Usman a parent.

He said no circular was given to parents regarding the election procedure, the Gulf News reported.

Another parent pointed, "They have safeguarded vested interests rather than the community's."

The Education Ministry in 2006, issued a law to empower the parents to run the community schools.

Since then except the Indian schools, the other community schools have been conducting elections at least twice as the term is for two years.

During this time Nalwalla said that it was necessary to safeguard the interests of privately funded community schools.

There are nearly 17 Indian community schools in Oman that are run by the private business houses.

The school board took almost 5 years to get the new constitution approved in order to hold elections.

Jabir also revealed that only 15 out of 5,300 parents filled the nomination forms for the elections to be held next month.

Questioning the appointment of the Election Commissioner he said: "While I do not question his credibility, I feel it was not fair to appoint a former member of the board cum former president of an SMC as the Election Commissioner,"

He said: "I request the Ambassador of India to intervene immediately and give instructions to the Board/Election Committee to conduct the election in a free, fair and democratic manner." (ANI)

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