Rift among parents’ factions intensifies ahead of Indian School Bahrain election on December 8
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Reported by Pradeep Puravankara
The Indian School in Bahrain (ISB), with its two campuses in Isa Town and Riffa, is gearing up for its much-anticipated election for the governing body on December 8.
Boasting the highest number of students among Gulf nations, with over 11,900 students, the school is witnessing a growing rift between three prominent parent factions: the Progressive Parents Alliance (PPA), the United Parents Panel (UPP), and the Indian School Parents Forum (ISPF).
The PPA has held power since 2014, winning consecutive elections in 2017 and overseeing the school’s administration during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this year, the group, led by Binu Mannil, faces a formidable challenge from the UPP, led by Biju Thomas, and the Indian School Parents Forum (ISPF), headed by Vani Chandran.
Seeking a return to power, the UPP has been campaigning vigorously, accusing the PPA of mismanagement and a lack of transparency. The PPA, in turn, has defended its record, highlighting its achievements in maintaining the school’s academic excellence and infrastructure development.
A relatively new entrant, the Indian School Parents Forum (ISPF), is giving tough competition to the two traditional groups through their novel strategy and is vying for a place in the governing body. Under Vani’s leadership, the ISPF promises to bring fresh perspectives and a more inclusive approach to the school’s administration.
The campaigning has intensified in recent weeks, with both sides resorting to family visits, parent-corner gatherings, and press conferences to sway voters. Allegations and counter-accusations have become commonplace, creating an atmosphere of tension and uncertainty.
PPA’s candidates are Binu Mannil, Mohammed Faizal, V Raja Pandian, Ranjini M. Menon, Mirza Aamir Baig, Bonny Joseph, and Mithun Mohan. They have promised academic excellence, financial discipline, complete transparency, and responsible development. The UPP panel includes Abdul Mansheer, Biju George, Hareesh Nair, Javed TCA, Sreedevi, Suresh Subramanian, and Tresa Antony, alias Sini Antony.
Their slogan is ‘We promise, we deliver’. ISPF is fielding David Peramangalath Vincent, Ivanios Joseph, Jayafar Maidaneentavida, Poornima Jagadeesha, Shareen Shoukath Ali, Vani Chandran, and Vishal Shah.
With the election just around the corner, all eyes are on the outcome. The results will not only determine the school’s leadership for the next three years but also reflect the deep-rooted divisions within the parent community. The voting will take place on December 8 from 9am to 7pm, with the counting scheduled for the same day.
Seven parents’ representatives and one staff representative will be elected, who will then nominate three ministry observers. The newly elected members will lead the administration until 2027.
Biju George, Chairman Candidate, United Parents Panel
Binu Mannil, Chairman Candidate, Progressive Parents Alliance
Vani Chandran, Chairperson Candidate, Indian School Parents Forum