x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Authorities take over private school after administrators abandon posts

Education officials have taken over Al Sahaba Private School, an institution in "chaos" after it was given a closure notice and abandoned by its administrators.

ABU DHABI // Education officials have taken over Al Sahaba Private School, an institution in "chaos" after it was given a closure notice and abandoned by its administrators. It is the first time the Government has taken control of operations at a private school. Al Sahaba is one of six "villa" schools scheduled to be shut down by the municipality in June for failing health and safety inspections.

Inspectors found a host of problems at the six schools, including unlicensed construction, failure to carry out regular maintenance work, overcrowding, electrical and fire hazards, structural instability and unsanitary conditions. School administrators at Al Sahaba left after receiving a closure notice two weeks ago, leading to "chaos among students", according to the Abu Dhabi Education Council. The school was temporarily shut down this week and will remain closed until Sunday as urgent maintenance work and cleaning is carried out.

The council has also hired an engineer to deal with some of the structural issues at Al Sahaba. An adviser from the Abu Dhabi Education Zone has been appointed as the acting director of the school until it shuts down in June. The school's finances will be managed by a member of staff from the zone. Al Sahaba's students have been offered places at a new school scheduled to open in September. The education council has not announced whether the school will be located in an old government school building in Bani Yas or in downtown Abu Dhabi.

It will offer the same low fees. @Email:klewis@thenational.ae