Parents reject foreign principal and shut down school

Parents have shut down the Shaviyani Feydhoo school for two days by refusing to send their children to school.

The school, which had around 170 students, was closed on Sunday and Monday because parents were unhappy that a principal had not been appointed despite the academic year having already started.

The previous principal, Mathew Varugees, returned to India at the end of last year.

Aishath Mohamed from the school’s parent teacher association said “The parents are not happy. The school is being run without a princiapal and it is affecting the studies of the children.”

“The old principal could not speak Dhivehi and many parents can’t speak English, so there was a major communication issue,” she said. “We had many issues to discuss but it was not possible and no one was happy with the situation. Even Mr Varugees agreed there was a communication problem – that is why he left, he said this school needed a Maldivian principal.”

Aishath said a senior teacher, Mohamed Shahid, had been running the school in the interim, “but he only agreed to stay until the start of the school year, when a new principal was promised.”

Parents have gone to the island office and demanded a new principal within the next two weeks.

Principal was arranged

Their story clashes with that of the Feydhoo councilor, Mohamed Mustafa Ismail.

“A principal was arranged for our school by the education ministry. Everything was ready including accommodation and transfer,” he said.

“But when the parents found he was not a Maldivian principal, they didn’t accept it. They gathered outside the island office and said not to bring the principal, because they would not let him set foot on the island.

“Obviously we had to let the ministry know that we could’t bring him here, and they have now said they can’t find a Maldivian for the position.”

Mustafa said while the parents had given the government two weeks to find a Maldivian principal, “it’s not like we can go to a shop and buy one. It’s hard to find Maldivians who are qualified for the job.”

He blamed the teachers for failing to show teamwork with foreign principals.

“Good teamwork is needed to work when working with foreign people, but the Maldivian teachers don’t like it and they tell the parents who then react this way,” he said

“By closing down the school the parents have got it wrong. It is not the solution.”


8 thoughts on “Parents reject foreign principal and shut down school”

  1. I do not understand these parents. Their children loose when they do not attend school. Qualified Maldivians are limited and would not be wasting their time in an Island with this sort of attitude. Foreign Principals have been very successful in Male's largest Schools. Solutions can be found to communication problems.

  2. The problem is not the parents but it is the power-hungry local deputy principal/headmaster who feeds bullcrap to these parents and warm them up to come against the principal..the only people who lose are the parents and the students while the deputies are having a laugh behind it all.

  3. This is pathetic!

    Like Suam say, these parents do not know they are being pulled into a power struggle!

  4. Herein lies the problem with us Maldivians...we think we should be in all management positions and we should be bossing around foreigners but simply can't accept the fact that there is a huge human resource problem. Not just in terms of qualifications but labour mobility as well. Anyone with any sense will know that this country would be in huge trouble if not for the expats working in this country. So lets get off our high horses and face reality shall we!!!!

  5. Male people used to say that beerattehin (out-of-towners) had five grains missing (fas kulhandhu madu). I always had a hunch there was some truth in that. Perhaps here is the proof now. English medium schooling was introduced in Male in 1960-1 with a Dutch-Sri Lankan and two Anglo-Sri Lankan principals along with several other English-speaking Sri Lankan teachers. There were about 300 students in three schools and the number of parents who could communicate with the principals and teachers in any language could be counted on one’s fingers. No one complained of a communication issue because, at the time, everyone was keen for a good Western education for their children. In the current case, somehow I feel the whole story isn’t out. Very likely the Indian principal was a victim of Kaafarophobia. If his name were not Matthew Varghese but al-Ustazunal Kabeer ud-Dikitaar ul-Moulaa Muhammad ibn Abdillah il-Makkee wal-Madeenee wa-Suoodu wal-Arabee, who spoke only a foreign language, I would be willing to bet my last riyal that the good people of Feydhoo would have had no issues at all. Another curious twist in the story is that the whole school was shut down. Weren’t there teachers at the chalk face? The parallels with this school-closure and what happens in the al-Qaeda controlled areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan and Somalia are too stark to dismiss.

  6. If this new pethetic attitude start to practicing would only effect our childrens. not for anyone else

  7. It is problem because many Maldivians become lazy .ok you reject foreign principal because he cannot talk on Dhivehi, but where the hell local well educated peoples? College for High education- what for student study there? Nice diploma? New knowledge about drugs export import strategy? Why so many workers, teachers, doctors, guards from different country in Maldives? Soon Maldivians will lose any knowledge about how to build or create or manage anything. It is terrible!!! even old Dhivehi handcrafts arts tradition almost disappear and many shop owner buy souvenir from China .Because new generation don’t respect tradition and thinks that life is only way how to spend time in office near computer, cheating peoples and get dollars . Why you complain about job less situation or incorrect principal? If Maldivians don’t respect their own land and dont work, after 2-3 generation Maldives nation can disappear in millions of workers from Bangladesh .it is not problem only in education sector. It is main problem for modern Maldivians and modern government with pro American politics,. It is strait duty of government of Maldives to give any job possibility for local peoples, students, recovering fishing and agriculture and other tradition. In Other way, soon Maldivians will give part of Indian Ocean for China, Sri Lanka and India for fishing and disappear in bloody hell from drugs and heavy crime.

  8. @Editor of Maldives S***T family

    Oh! Do you have to poke your head every where?


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