Abu Dhabi: Thirty public schools are to be built in the next three years across the emirate of Abu Dhabi, 15 of which will be complete by 2011 and the other 15 by 2012, Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has announced.

The decision has been made in response to the expected number of students/demographic growth in the near future and the need to replace old schools with a new educational model that emphasises student performance through student-centred learning, staff satisfaction and community involvement, the ADEC said.

The ADEC selected 40 design proposals from countries such as Australia Jordan, Mexico, Singapore, the UK and the USA, these were filtered down to 27 designs out of which the top ten were selected by an executive committee from the ADEC.

During a meeting held yesterday, 18 public school principals along with an executive committee from the ADEC discussed what they called the 'future for the next generation of schools' where the top five designs will be selected based on key features including spaces for art, music and sports, a connection to the outdoors and the requirements of special needs students.

Hamad Al Daheri, Manager, Infrastructure and Facilities at the ADEC, told Gulf News that the ADEC had selected a design consultant who has placed key features needed in the design of future schools.

"We have also invited 18 educators along with the top 10 designers and an executive committee from ADEC to filter out and vote for the top five design projects that we will be implementing for the outlook of our 30 schools. The reason why we are doing this is to help enhance and stimulate learning among teachers and students in schools, and this can only be done through including the required facilities."

Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Director-General of the ADEC emphasised the importance of including all grades in one area, so that children are not moved around too much. "We will be replacing some of the public schools we have due to reasons such as rigidity, long corridors, open patios, insufficient laboratories, insufficient energy and wasted space," said Al Khaili.

Will this provide more incentives for students to study? Will it create a more competitive educational environment for students? Have you experienced any difficulties enrolling your children in a school due to lack of seats?