Quality schools can still make a reasonable profit
I refer to the stories Indian school crisis as children turned away and High-profit options dominate school openings (both April 1).
It is not surprising that parents become frustrated at the perceived failure to provide affordable school places at the expense of investors making large profits.
However, the truth is often different. Opening a new school is not without risk. Often there is little hope of breaking even and recouping the cost of the original building works for several years.
Adec is very good at controlling fee rates and reducing profiteering. The fault often lies in the guidance provided by consultants to potential investors, with the mantra "the higher the fee, the quicker the investment return" often, mistakenly, being the default advice.
Investors are not educationalists but they need educational advice on how best to harness new technology and to consider different ways of organising schools to deliver a curriculum that brings greater efficiency to the school without compromising quality.
My advice to investors is to ask the professionals who are designing schools and improving teaching systems all the time.
If they did, maybe the current crisis could be resolved, and investors would still see a reasonable return on their investment.
Paul Wagstaff, Ruskin Education, Abu Dhabi
Private residential villas are fundamentally unsuitable and unsafe as schools. Just a few days ago, three children died in a villa being used as a school in Myanmar.
The authorities are right to clamp down on the use of villas; 30 or 40 children using one toilet is unacceptable.
Office workers are subject to laws on hygiene, so schools should not be exempt.
Greed in education provision has to stop. The investors should build normal schools with full facilities, instead of looking for a quick profit at the expense of children's safety and welbeing.
Peter Nixon, Abu Dhabi
Affordable heart drugs welcome
I agree with the outcome described in Cheap drugs for the sick in landmark court ruling (April 2).
Heart medicine is among the most expensive, with Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) retailing at Dh250 in the UAE.
I wonder how a poor worker with a heart condition could afford that every month - especially when it is only one of the drugs many patients have to take.
Aziza Al Busaidy, Dubai
Praise for elderly mountain climber
I liked the story about Yuichiro Miura (Octogenarian out to claim Everest record, April 2).
Good luck to him on his mission.
Fatima Suhail, Dubai
Driving courses change habits
I am writing in reference to the blog post, The road to contrition (March 24), where Ayesha Al Khoori notes that she will be completing a safe-driving course at the Yas Marina Circuit.
In the 1970s and 1980s there were lots of road-safety courses geared around advanced driving that involved high-speed braking, swerving and other strategies.
While this was regarded as a good idea at the time, most of the participants ended up driving faster because they knew they could. That was opposite outcome to the intention of the courses.
Now, designers of these courses are looking at assessing and affecting behavioural change in drivers.
Ms Al Khoori's passion and experience seem to be an echo of those times, and perhaps it's a journey, or a phase, that young people go through.
I hope that energy can be channelled into a love of cars and peer mentoring in the future.
Mark Martin, Australia
Assad regime's days numbered
I enjoyed reading the opinion article A subtle shift may mean Syrians will get the tools to resist Assad (March 30).
The analysis is reasonable, and the writer has got it right about what is happening in Syria.
The government of Bashar Al Assad has been the most brutal regime of our times.
However, I am sure the Syrian people will win over tyranny and be free soon.
Name withheld by request