Respite For Students Stranded In Villa-School Closures

Respite For Students Stranded In Villa-School Closures
By C Hoppe
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Parents and students at three Abu Dhabi villa-schools - Leens Private School and Kindergarten, Al Noor Indian Islamic School and Wisdom High School - set to close next month, have been thrown a life-line by ADEC.

Parents reported receiving a text message from the authority stating, “Registrations for April 2015 can now be accepted at Shining Star International School in Mohammad Bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi. Due to the delay in developing a new school in Al Wathba, the [Shining Star] school is currently constructing additional classrooms in Mohammad Bin Zayed City…[Leens/Al Noor/Wisdom] students will receive priority registration and discounted fees...” reported Gulf News.

Until the news from ADEC was received, the 360 students at Leens, 650 at Al Noor and 400 at Wisdom High School had few affordable admission options in the city.

Speaking to the paper, Aboobacker Chalil, 43, a public relations officer said, “Three of my children are currently enrolled at the Al Noor Indian Islamic School, and I have been in a panic since last year. It is very hard to get admission with the limited number of Indian curriculum schools, and fees at many of the newer institutions are rather unaffordable for many middle-class families.”

He added, “we are therefore truly grateful to the ADEC authorities for facilitating this registration process. According to the message we received, our children will receive discounted fees, which is a relief as the fees that we were paying at Al Noor were much lower compared to most other Abu Dhabi schools."

According to Sanjeev Khanna, chairperson at the Shining Star International School in Mohammad Bin Zayed City, work on the 38 additional classrooms required to enrol the students is already underway.

He went on to say, “We are already accepting these applications, and 128 children have been registered so far."

“We expect the additional classrooms to be ready in time for the start of the next academic year in April 2015. Villa school pupils will be paying annual tuition fees ranging from Dh3,500 to Dh5,200, which would increase by about 20 per cent per year for the next three years."

The villa-school closure programme implemented by Adec has seen all but 14 of the 72 schools operating in 2008 close. This, the final set of closures sees six Indian curriculum schools closing their doors in March 2015.


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