Plan to close Abu Dhabi school worries parents

Closure of Indian Islahi Islamic School will worsen scramble for seats

Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) has displayed a permanent closure notice on the board of IndianIslahi Islamic School in Abu Dhabi.
17 Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Parents of children enrolled at an Indian curriculum private school are greatly concerned about how their children will continue their education following the announcement that the institution will close down by the start of the 2014-2015 academic year.

The school, the Indian Islahi Islamic School, notified parents on September 15 that it has been ordered to close down by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec). According to a board put up outside the school gates, the date given for the closure is April 1, 2014.

Parents said they also received an official Adec memo that was distributed by the school on September 15.

“My son is currently in the 11th grade, and in the next academic year [starting April 2014 for Indian curriculum schools], he is expected to be in the 12th grade, preparing for his board exams. But the school has now told us it will no longer operate next year. Given the shortage of school seats at Indian curriculum schools in Abu Dhabi, how am I expected to find a seat for him at this late stage?” Amar Singh, a 50-year-old parent, told Gulf News.

The shortage of school seats in the capital, particularly in Indian curriculum schools, has long been a concern for parents. The shortage stems partially from the limited investment in the private education sector, and the closure of villa schools like the Indian Islahi Islamic School, which are built on designated residential plots. These facilities were found to be unsafe for children by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) and, in 2009, the Adec announced that all such schools would be closed by the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.

Parents at the Indian Islahi Islamic School said that although they had been aware that their children were being educated in a villa-based facility, school authorities had never notified them earlier of an impending closure.

“I have asked the school authorities a number of times if they would continue operating and have never been informed otherwise. Now my son is in a higher grade and changing schools itself will be a disruption. Moreover, I have checked with some other schools and they have all said that there are no available places,” Singh said.

Fasaluddin Mohammad, 46, a facilities coordinator, said he was facing a similar dilemma.

“Both my sons are in the school, one in Grade 7 and another in Grade 11. I have been fretting about the situation since I came to know of it, and even visited the school to speak to the management today. However, no one was able to provide a solution,” he said.

Parents urged the school to find alternative places for their children.

“I think some special effort must be made to ensure that children who are preparing for board exams in the next academic year (2014-2015), namely, Grade 9 and Grade 11 pupils, are guaranteed continuity in their education,” Singh said.

“The Adec memo we received on Sunday is dated July 2, 2013. Had I known about this closure earlier, I would have had more time to look for solutions,” he added.

According to Muhsin K, principal at the school, the school currently has 1,310 pupils, including 336 new pupils who were admitted in the 2013-2014 academic year. The school received the closure notification from the Adec “in the first week of July”, he said.

“The school will provide all the possible assistance required for pupils to continue their education. [We are] trying to meet with the Adec to find ways to resolve the problem, and to make a request for the extension of the deadline,” the principal added.


  • Nisha majeed

    18-Sep-2013 16:58

    This is a very shocking news. My three daughters are in this school. Icouldn't get an idea of how I will solve this problem. It is very difficultto get admission for all together. I hope ADEC will consider the future of1400 students and extend the deadline for at least 1 year and instead they can stop new admissions.

  • Mohammad

    18-Sep-2013 16:42

    ADEC has been creating havoc in Abu Dhabi ever since they were formed. No doubt their intentions are good, but they are biased againstnon-american/british schools. And there is no logic to their actions.Their decisions are sudden and without thought of impact on students.

  • Ahmed

    18-Sep-2013 16:41

    ADEC gave closure notifications to several schools in 1st week of July. Thisgives ample time for non-Indian curriculum schools as they start only inSep, whereas Indian schools are already in the middle of the academicyear. ADEC should have given this notice at least by Feb 2013, so thatparents would have made alternate arrangements. Now, we don't get seatselsewhere and also cannot move to India. ADEC being an educationalauthority should have representatives from all curriculums being taughtin Abu Dhabi, so that they will know the real impact of such serious decisions.

  • Roy Samuel

    18-Sep-2013 16:05

    This decision will affect the students studies as currently it isnot possible to shift to another school. Hope that ADEC will extend thepermission for another year.

  • Mohd

    18-Sep-2013 15:47

    This is a very serious problem especially for thosecurrently in Grade 11 & 9. No Indian school takes admission in grade12 and optional subjects taught are also different. ADEC should havegiven this notice at least one academic year before the closure, so thatno one would have taken admissions during this year. Hope ADEC somehowmake these students 'Safe' in some school, after moving them from'Unsafe' villas.

  • Moahmed Manaf

    18-Sep-2013 15:26

    Dear Readers, I would like to bring following points:- 1) Why schooldidn’t distribute the circular to students as it was issued onJuly. 2) As management knows the school is closing, why send a reminder forfees collection for next three months?


    18-Sep-2013 15:21

    My 2 daughters are already studying in this school. When I received the1st circular from the school on 3rd July regarding the changing ofschool location to Baniyas I was worried about the long time it willtake them to reach the school and return from there since I have onemore daughter to be admitted to KG next academic year. But the circularfrom ADEC really shocked me. I don't know what to do. It is well knownthat to get admission it is difficult even for 1 child what shall I dowith these 3 children? If ADEC won't give the school management somesolution I think I have to send my family to India. Hoping to get ahumanitarian consideration from ADEC.

  • Musaddiq

    18-Sep-2013 15:07

    My child is a student in 9th grade and we are finding trouble in findingadmission for her in other schools. We hope that Adec will at least give the school some extension for the while.

  • Afrah

    18-Sep-2013 14:48

    Being an Ex-Student of Islahi School, I can still recount the number oftime the school management had told us that we would be getting a newschool in Mafraq , Musafah, the place always changed but a day wherethey would actually have to close it down would come, I never everexpected. Feel bad for all the teachers and students who areleft out in a lurch!

  • Trija Thomas

    18-Sep-2013 14:38

    I feel that this problem arose in the capital as soon as villa schoolclosure was announced around at least 2-3 years back and till now ADEChas not been able to overcome this undersupply problem. Opening moreschools with western syllabus will never be a solution to this as mostof the students studying in the Indian syllabus cannot afford the highfee structure of Western curriculum, or they prefer Indian syllabus toothers when considering higher education in India. Investors are notattracted to Indian schools because from a business point of view it isnot profitable. Government must intervene and find an apt solution sothat majority of the expats here being Indians can be provided with thekind of education they prefer. Unless authorities are sure they canplace the students from closed down schools elsewhere without disturbingchildren's education they shouldn't go on shutting down schools addingmore to the undersupply problem.

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This is a very shocking news. My three daughters are in this school. Icouldn't get an idea of how I will solve this problem. It is very difficultto get admission for all together. I hope ADEC will consider the future of1400 students and extend the deadline for at least 1 year and instead they can stop new admissions.

Nisha majeed

18 September 2013 17:07jump to comments