Ryan International School in Masdar City remains unoperational Image Credit: Anjana Sankar/XPRESS

Abu Dhabi Delay in the opening of two Indian schools in Abu Dhabi has thrown the academic future of hundreds of children into uncertainty.

Ryan International School located in Masdar City and Global Indian International School (GIIS) in Baniyas, both following the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum, were scheduled to open last month and ease the seat crunch in Abu Dhabi.

More than 250 students have taken admission for kindergarten in Ryan and GIIS has shortlisted 800 students, also for kindergarten.

The managements of the two schools told XPRESS the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has not given them the final approval to start the school this year.

“We accepted students anticipating the approvals to come before May. The campus and the entire infrastructure is ready,” said Alice Vas, administrator of Ryan International School.

Sheela Menon, Principal of GIIS, said the school was ready to welcome the students in May but received an email from ADEC advising it to postpone the opening to April 2016.

Both schools, however, did not elaborate on the reasons why ADEC refused to give them the green light.


Future at stake

ADEC did not comment on the issue.

But parents who obtained admission for their wards said the delay in the opening of the schools has put their kids’ future at stake.

“Since May, we have been desperately waiting for the school to open. It is almost the end of June, and our kids are losing an academic year,” said a parent at Ryan International School, requesting anonymity.

Another parent said he had paid Dh4,500 as the admission and first term tuition fee. “It is not just a matter of money. The academic year has begun and seats at all schools are filled. Where will our kids go?” he asked.

The Ryan management said it is refunding the fees to parents who have made the request. The annual tuition fee for kindergarten is Dh14,000.

However, the school said it is hopeful of getting the approval by September.

“Our management is in talks with ADEC and we are hoping to open the school by September. We are not giving up hope yet,” said Vas.

Ryan even conducted an induction programme for parents in May and its 22 teachers are on standby.

In GIIS, the principal said out of the thousands of applications it received, the school only shortlisted 800 students for 32 divisions for kindergarten through online admissions. It had also taken admissions from Grade 1 to 8.

“Since we were waiting for ADEC’s approval, we have not taken a single penny from the parents,” Menon told XPRESS.

She added the school has also informed parents in advance that admissions would be finalised only upon ADEC approval. The school has also disengaged 60 of its teachers who were recruited locally.

An Indian father said he is shocked to learn that GIIS will not open this year.

“That was the last thing we expected to happen when my daughter got shortlisted. We really thought the admission nightmare was over for us,” he said.