Monday, Sep 30, 2013
Abu Dhabi: The closure of another Indian curriculum private school in the capital by the start of next academic year (2014-2105) is expected to further increase demand for school seats.
The Little Flower Private School will be closed down by the end of this academic year (2013-2014), but most parents said they are not sure about finding alternative places for their children for the 2014-2015 academic year. As a result, some said they were planning to send their families back to India.
Rajesh Kumar, 38, whose nine-year-old son is enrolled at Little Flower, told Gulf News that he was looking for school seats in the Indian state of Kerala.
âI had a very difficult time finding a seat for my son in KG 1, and was eventually able to secure him a place at Little Flower. Now that it is closing, I do not think I can go through the process of finding another school seat again, especially as even more schools have closed down by now,â Kumar said.
âIt has been an extremely difficult decision. But the truth is that there are very few affordable school seats available. The new schools that are opening up have very high tuition fees and moving my son there is not really a viable option,â he added.
The parent also said that he had already asked his relatives to find a suitable school for his son. The school has been ordered to close down by the Abu Dhabi Education Council ( Adec ), the education regulator in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. An announcement about the upcoming closure was also made by the Adec in a statement issued in July.
According to the statement, the school, which enrols about 570 pupils from KG 1 to Grade 8, is one of 15 villa schools - private schools located on residential plots in non-purpose built facilities - ordered to close by the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.
The closure of these villa schools is worrying because of the shortage of school seats in Abu Dhabi, Kumar said.
âI also known of many other parents who cannot send their families back to India for a variety of reasons. They are very much concerned about the closure,â Kumar said.
School management, however, assured parents that they should not panic.
âOur humble request to the parents is to have a little more patience [as] there is absolutely no need to panic or run around looking for seats before March 2013. When the Adec has taken this decision, Iâm sure the Adec will help [pupils] to get into Indian [curriculum] schools after March, or will make alternative arrangements to accommodate the displaced students into schools with Indian [curriculum],â said Mary Thomas, school principal.
Parents were also informed of the closure via an Adec -issued circular.
âWe received the circular in July, when the majority of families were away on vacation. So the circular was sent to parents when the school reopened in September,â Thomas said.
She added that the school would also do its best to help children find alternative places, especially pupils enrolled in Grade 8.
By Samihah Zaman Staff Reporter
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