Abu Dhabi: Parents of two private schools in Abu Dhabi are demanding the removal of mobile towers located close to the school campuses.
Angry parents of Brighton College Abu Dhabi and Al Raha International School told XPRESS that etisalat and du have failed to respond favourably to their concerns.
More than 430 parents have submitted a petition to etisalat and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) to remove a tower which was installed next to the Brighton campus in May by etisalat.
Parents complained that the mast located just five metres from the pre-prep section exposed children as young as three and seven to radiation. “Parents spent so much time collecting signatures to pursue authorities to consider precautionary norms and relocate the mast. But we’ve seen no result,” said a frustrated parent who requested anonymity.
Similarly, the management and parents of Al Raha International School, run by Taaleem, have been pushing du to get a mobile tower removed since last year, but to no avail.
Parents of Al Raha are running an online campaign on Change.org urging authorities to remove the du tower.
“It is still a matter of contention with du. The school is continuing the fight to hopefully get it removed to a safer distance from the school,” Clive Pierrepont, Director of Communications and Marketing at Taaleem, told XPRESS.
Last year, parents met du officials to express their concerns after the ground work for installing the tower began. Both parents and school authorities maintain the school was not consulted before du decided to install the tower.
“The telecommunication authority requires service providers to follow best endeavours and use precautionary norms while installing mobile masts close to schools and hospitals. In this case, they are putting the health of 1,200 children at risk,” said K. Martin, a parent of Al Raha.
However, du maintains that the mast is fully compliant with both TRA regulations and international safety standards.
Similarly, in the case of Brighton School, run by Bloom Management, etisalat maintains parents were informed that all TRA and international regulations on radiation limits were followed.
In an e-mail response to the parents’ petition – a copy of which XPRESS has seen – a top TRA official said the school management was consulted before installing the tower. “The TRA understands that etisalat originally suggested another position for the tower. Etisalat’s first choice was to use a different location. That location was not available and Bloom provided the current location as the only one available,” the e-mail said.
M.F., a parent of Brighton, said: “The school never mentioned it to us and we feel cheated. We were campaigning against the tower under the impression that the school was not party to this decision.”
Brighton was not immediately available for a comment.