Abu Dhabi: Two Indian Schools in Abu Dhabi have got approval to add about 1,400 seats in the next academic year, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE said yesterday.
This will address growing concerns in the community about shortage of seats in Indian schools in the capital, M.K. Lokesh said at a press conference at the Indian Embassy.
He said he had a meeting with Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, the Director General of Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), who is taking great efforts to address the issue. It is heartening to see that Dr Al Khaili and Adec are taking several immediate steps to address the most important issue of the Indian community, Lokesh said.
A new shift at Abu Dhabi Indian School (Adis), with about 900 seats, and several new divisions with 485 seats at the Model School have already been approved, he said.
Apart from this, Adec has asked several other Indian schools to report the availability of space to add more seats, the ambassador said.
He said Adec is also considering the applications from several Indian school managements to start new schools. "The embassy and Indian community are indebted to Dr Al Khaili and Adec for these prompt actions to address this issue," Lokesh said.
Asked about the required number of seats to address the shortage, he told Gulf News that an exact figure was not available.
"School principals said there were about 4,000 applications for 900 vacant seats. Considering the possible duplication of applications [one child applying at more than one school], an exact number of required seats cannot be made," he explained.
Adec was not immediately available for comments yesterday.
Abu Dhabi Indian School (Adis) told Gulf News that its newly-approved shift with more than 900 seats are for KG 1 (Kindergarten), KG 2 and Grade 1.
"The shifts will be four hours each in the morning and evening, and we are working out the timing," said B.R. Shetty, chairman of the school governing body.
The Model School in Mussaffah said its newly-approved 485 seats will be in new divisions of KG 1 to grade 12. The school already had new classrooms and the additional seats will be given to those who had already registered and are on the waiting list, said Dr V.V Abdul Kader, principal of the school.
The school, with about 4236 pupils, is already working under two shifts- 7am to 12.15pm and 12.20pm to 5.35pm, he said. Total strength will go up to 4735 next academic year.
"There were 1200 applications for 400 KG 1 seats," the principal said.
New schools planned
Considering the prompt steps taken by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) to address the shortage of seats in Indian schools, Abu Dhabi Indian School (Adis) is expecting the approval for its proposal to build a new school with 4,000 seats from KG 1 to grade 12, B.R. Shetty, chairman of the school said.
"The children who get admission in newly-approved 900 seats in Adis will not need to worry when they grow up," he said.
He said he had already started an Indian school in Madinat Zayed in the Western Region at a disused government school given by the Adec.
ICK, a kindergarten owned by Shetty, with 600 pupils has also applied for a new school with 4,000 seats from KG 1 to KG 12, he said.
"We are grateful to Dr Al Khaili of the Adec for their support to the Indian community. In a recent meeting Dr Al Khaili said the UAE is thankful to the contributions of the Indian community; not only at present but in the pre-oil era," Shetty explained.
The Indian Ambassador said some private Indian managements like DPS (Delhi Public School) have also applied for new schools in Abu Dhabi.