Abu Dhabi: After 23 years, evening schools across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain will be permanently shut as of the 2009-10 academic year.
Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) told Gulf News that since the initiative of evening schools was introduced in 1986, families and students had been suffering and it was for that reason that the decision to move 7,754 students to day schools across Al Ain and Abu Dhabi was taken.
The integrated students must however maintain a minimum score of 70 per cent on their year-end report cards in order to continue attending day schools. Failure to do so will result scholarships being withdrawn and their families being forced to fund their education.
"We are offering to finance each and every student who attended evening schools and will take each student on a case by case basis.
"This decision has been under discussion for three years and now ADEC has completed an inventory of school students across 17 evening schools and developed a comprehensive plan to distribute them across public day schools," Al Khaili said.
All requirements needed for the integration process must be fully met by the end of the month, added the ADEC director-general. This includes structuring educational and administrative staff for each school and the registration of students in day schools.
Following that decision, registration will now be limited to Emirati students, children of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the campaign decrees only.
Mohammad Salem Al Daheri, the director of the Abu Dhabi Education Zone, stated that the distribution of students across public day schools would be done according to the students' residential areas, in which case, the parents will be formally notified of their children's new school names and locations.
Several meetings will be held with day school administrations to explain to them the mechanism by which students will be distributed across various day schools.
The Students Distribution Plan will be released to the day schools according to the residential areas such as Abu Dhabi, Al Shahama, Al Rahba, Al Samha, Bani Yas, Bahyah, Musaffah, and all surrounding areas.
Al Daheri also said two schools in Baniyas, which had been previously closed, were now open and would accommodate up to 1,000 students in total.
"We will diversify the rest of the students in existing public schools, but for now those two buildings were a solution since they previously served as schools anyway.
The decision has been a relief to teachers who were previously required to work during day and evening shifts..." he said.