x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Closure of six villa schools concerns parents

The decision to close and relocate six villa schools in Abu Dhabi next month has drawn mixed reactions from parents.

ABU DHABI // The decision to close and relocate six villa schools in the capital next month has drawn mixed reactions from parents. The parents of those attending Pioneers International School, which caters mainly to the Filipino community, expressed relief at the decision to relocate their children to the city centre. But most of the parents of those studying at five other private institutions reacted angrily to the suggestion to relocate in Bani Yas, on the outskirts of the city.

Last month, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, the government agency that oversees schools in the capital, announced that it would close six schools that failed health and safety inspections. A total of 2,291 pupils have been offered admissions at two new schools scheduled to open this fall. One of them, the August the 6th school in the Muroor area, which has offered to accommodate children from Pioneers International School, will follow an English-medium curriculum, while the one in Bani Yas will have the Ministry of Education curriculum.

Hassan, an American whose two children attend The Coast School near Madinat Zayed, said he was looking for an alternative closer to home rather than sending his children to Bani Yas. It is not clear whether the August the 6th school will be accredited by the Ministry of Education in the Philippines, which is a cause of concern for parents whose children study at Pioneers. A parent who gave her name as Sylvia said: "We've seen the school. It's big and beautiful, but who will run it?"

klewis@thenational.ae