x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

24 green schools to be built in capital

Campuses are part of 10-year plan to revamp public education in Abu Dhabi.

Al Ruwais Primary Boys School students learn new letters during an Arabic class at the school's campus in Ruwais.
Al Ruwais Primary Boys School students learn new letters during an Arabic class at the school's campus in Ruwais.

ABU DHABI // The education authority's plan to build 100 government schools in the emirate by 2018 has been given a boost by Monday's Executive Council decision.

Abu Dhabi Education Council was given the green light to construct 24 sustainable schools and extend modern education standards to locations with a growing Emirati population.

Old government schools lacked space, education resources and adequate safety equipment.

The new campuses are part of Adec's 10-year masterplan to revamp the public education system and replace ageing schools in Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain and the western Al Gharbia region.

Along with the new schools to replace some existing buildings, the authority will also tackle the refurbishment of 10 old facilities on the orders of the executive council.

"Adec has opened 21 public schools and kindergartens in 2011-2012 [academic year]," said a senior official from the Infrastructure and Facilities Division at Adec yesterday.

"According to our forecast, we plan to open another two schools and three kindergartens during the 2012-2013 academic year."

The schools will be located in Khalifa City A and Mohammed Bin Zayed City, while the kindergartens are to be built in Al Ain.

Several new schools were opened in the 2011-2012 academic year with some moving to a coeducation model for the first time.

The campuses are eco-friendly spaces, powered in part by solar panel installations. Classrooms are bigger with more safety measures.

Facilities include an auditorium, football pitch, swimming pool, library, labs and a cafeteria that can be used by the local community after school hours.

"An external shaded classroom, which is part of each learning community, gives additional opportunities for non-traditional communication," said Khaled Al Ansari, the facilities management division manager.

According to officials, a growing number of Emirati parents who had enrolled their children in private schools are migrating back to the free government schools due to the enhanced quality of education.

With an emphasis on bilingual teaching, these schools have a child-centred curriculum with an equal emphasis on learning Arabic and the English language.

The aim is to ready school-leaving children for higher education courses without having to spend two years in remedial programmes.

Humaid Ibrahim Abdulla, the division manager of the student services department at Adec, said 80 per cent of Emirati pupils were in government schools.

"A lot of families want to enrol their children into these schools because of a growing trust," he added.

aahmed@thenational.ae