x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Labourers’ homes on UAQ school grounds razed

A residential area for labourers housed in the grounds of a school has been knocked down on the orders of the UAQ Education Zone.

UMM AL QUWAIN // Labourers living in makeshift houses on the premises of a primary school where they were working have had their accommodation demolished on the orders of UAQ Education Zone.

Mubarak Mattar, the deputy director of UAQ Education Zone, said the zone and municipality decided to act after parents complained of the labourers' proximity to young girls.

He said the private school in Hamra - which educates 400 pupils, both boys and girls - had allowed contractors to base their workers in temporary housing on the school grounds while extra classrooms were built, but that this was "not allowed by law".

"After getting these complaints we formed a committee to investigate and when it was confirmed we immediately ordered the demolition of their accommodation," he said.

He said the contractors were advised to relocate workers to places designated for bachelor accommodation, such as the industrial areas.

He also urged all school administrators to inform both the zone and municipality when they were having construction work done and ensure that any workers were housed outside school grounds.

The school declined to comment.

Khaled Rashid, whose child attends the school, welcomed the decision, saying labourers were "notorious" for "bad behaviour".

"Authorities should be very strict with the law that forbids workers staying in school premises when students are in school," he said. "Violators of this rule should in future be fined heavily."

Another parent, Obaid Khalfan Al Ali, agreed. "The school has a lot of children and the labourer accommodation was occupying the places students would use for playing or resting," he said.