Caption: Repton, Abu Dhabi, due to open in September 2013
Four Indian schools - Indian International School 2, Mayoor School, Global Indian International School and Abu Dhabi Indian High School-branch - and five British and US schools including GEMS Cambridge International School, Diyafa School, Repton School and Aliaa International School are set to begin operations in the next academic year, according to regulator Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC).
The new schools will add nearly 24,000 more school seats, according to a report in community weekly, XPRESS newspaper, 10,000 of which will be for Indian children at the brunt of the seat-crunch in the capital.
The Indian schools will be operational for April 2014 (the start of the Indian academic year), the British and American schools from this September.
“There will be around 10,000 new school seats created for Indian children in Abu Dhabi by next April,” Tareq Zeyad Al Ameri, Acting Director of Private School Quality Assurance at Adec, told XPRESS.
The demographic makeup of the UAE has put particular stress levels on KG places, exacerbated for Indian children where investment in Indian schooling has been more limited. Abu Dhabi Indian School, for example, saw more than 1,700 applications for 75 Kindergarten seats this academic year.
“By 2020, millions must be invested to build 100 private schools in the emirate to serve the education needs of middle- and low-income families,” Al Ameri said.
More schools are in the process of being approved. GEMs Education is said to have between seven to 10 applications pending with Adec across various curricula. “We have submitted applications and are in discussions with Adec about the submissions,” said a GEMS spokesperson. According to the XPRESS newspaper report, GEMS Indian school and one British curriculum school have received approval from Adec. The education provider also has pending applications to open Winchester and Westminster brand schools in Abu Dhabi.