Villa schools in Abu Dhabi
Villa schools in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, and school closures under instruction from the Abu Dhabi City Municipality. Replacement schools arranged by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC).
Abu Dhabi Villa Schools
- A number of private schools in Abu Dhabi (and Dubai and other UAE emirates for that matter) operate out of villa housing. Often cheaper schools serving nationals from India, Pakistan, Philippines, and Arab countries.
- About 45,000 students attend 77 villa schools in Abu Dhabi with 71 schools having been told to close down (Khaleej Times 21 April 2010).
- These schools are not purpose built facilities, and are often run down, overcrowded, and generally unpleasant in the opinion of many, especially the schools that have been operating for many years.
- The flip side of those comments is that families of pupils attending cheap villa schools simply cannot afford to pay the higer fees at the better resourced schools even if places are available (often they are not), and the villa schools do not have the revenue to upgrade their facilities.
Villa school categories in Abu Dhabi
- Category 1: Schools with potential - ADEC will support school operators to develop new schools
- Category 2 (about 20,000 students): Schools planning to relocate to purpose-built facilities - ADEC will monitor relocation plans and schools can continue to operate if plans are suitable
- Category 3 (about 25,000 students): Schools that have taken no action - ADEC will attempt to arrange replacement schools for the villa schools being closed down.
Villa school closures in Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Federal Law No. 28 of 1999 required all private schools to comply with government regulations about school operations and buildings.
- Since then, some villa school operators have closed voluntarily, some have relocated to purpose built facilities, and some have been instructed to close.
- Cabinet Resolution No. 270/7 of 2002 mandated final closure of remaining villas schools, with a 2 year grace period until the end of academic year 2003-2004.
- Cabinet Resolution No. 375/23M of 2004 implemented a second 3 year grace period ending academic year 2006-2007.
- The Khaleej Times reported 20 April 2010 that
Ali Al Hashimi, Inspection Project Manager for villa schools at the Abu Dhabi Mnicipality, said "There is no way that a villa could serve as a school. These are (designed) to accommodate a family-size capacity; these are not built to accommodate hundreds of students or serve commercial activity,"
- The same report said there are 77 villa schools in Abu Dhabi that need to be inspected by the Abu Dhabi Municipality, the Abu Dhabi Civil Defence, and the Ministry of Labour. Six of them were handed eviction and closure notices in April 2010 (see below).
- In July 2010, ADEC issued a tender for private school development on 6 plots of land in Khalifa City B and MBZ City for students from villa schools.
Abu Dhabi villa schools closing in 2012
- 28 May 2012 (ADEC announcement) - 4 villa schools to close at end of 2011-2012 academic year, leaving 37 villa schools still operating in Abu Dhabi, of which 32 plan to build new buildings by start of 2013-2014 academic year, and another 2 will close by end of 2012-2013 academic year. Unknown what plans the other 3 schools have. Schools named as closing this year are:
- 25 March 2012 (Khaleej Times) - 41 villa schools still operating in Abu Dhabi (down from 77 in 2010). All villa schools in Abu Dhabi scheduled to be closed by 2013.
Abu Dhabi villa schools closing in 2011
- ADEC announcement 30 June 2011 of villa school closures for end of academic year 2010-2011 for Abu Dhabi city:
- ... and for Al Ain
- ADEC Villa Schools Team enquiries contact details telephone +971-2-6150381 or +971-2-6150398, email: email@example.com.
Abu Dhabi villa schools closing in 2010
- The Abu Dhabi Municipality has instructed 6 villa schools to stop operating from the end of the 2009-2010 academic year (30 June 2010?), apparently concerned for the safety of students, but not worried about how and where they might go to find an affordable education.
- According to the Khaleej Times report 20 April 2010, these six schools are "extremely high-risk schools", and the first of the 77 schools due for inspection and possible closure.
- The schools aren't giving up without a fight though. According to another 20 April 2010 report in the Khaleej Times (KT), they are complaining to the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI). The KT quoted Lamiaa Al Madfaji, principal of Al Saheel Private School (The Coast School) as saying "The six schools have lodged a complaint with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry as they are administratively run by it ... A joint meeting was held by the school management and the officials at the chamber, and agreed that the chamber will pass on the collective complaint to Abu Dhabi education council to work to stop implementing the decision."
- The schools affected are:
- The Abu Dhabi Education Council has attempted to find a solution by offering to house the 2,291 potentially school-less students in two already existing but unused government school buildings, announced in a press release 19 April 2010, namely:
- One school will provide an English curriculum, the other will provide a UAE Ministry of Education Arabic curriculum. Press release did not specify which.
- But that might only be until September 2013. A 20 April 2010 report in The National, said the schools "will be required to move again to new buildings within three years."
- 14 proposals to run the Bani Yas and Muroor schools were received by ADEC according to an 07 July 2010 report in the Khaleej Times -
"Fourteen proposals have been received, ADEC is currently in the process of reviewing these and will select the most qualified applicants," Paul Andrews, manager, Private Schools at ADEC told Khaleej Times.
- ADEC appointed Universal Future Education (UFE) to operate the 6th of August School (Filipino/English curriculum), and the Saad Bin Obaidah School (UAE MOE curriculum). Yousif Al Sheryani, Educational Advisor to the Director General of ADEC, said "We were pleased with Universal Future Education's proposal and our confidence was reaffirmed after interviewing both the operators and their selected school principals. During the selection process they demonstrated a high degree of knowledge in the education sector, technical and financial ability to implement their plans, and access to manpower resources to mobilize in time for the coming school year." (press release 11 August 2010).
Al Ain villa schools closing or moving
Seven villa schools in Al Ain closed from 2010-2012?
Oasis International School is a new school (Indian CBSE curriculum) accepting students from some closing villa schools in Al Ain. Temporarily (during 2012) in a government school building in Al Mezyad district while new building being constructed. On 26 March 2012, Gulf News reported Pierre Scottorn, Section Manager for Private School Improvement at ADEC, as saying "We have been able to relocate 733 pupils between KG1 and Grade 10 from the Oasis Private School, which follows the Indian schooling system-based CBSE curriculum; and 280 pupils between KG1 and Grade 7 from the New Al Hilal Private School, which follows the Pakistani curriculum"
ADEC contact details for parents with children at villa schools
Parents concerned about their child's education and school facilities can contact ADEC at the following:
- Tel +971-2-6150271, +971-2-6150378, +971-2-61500397, +971-2-6150499
- Fax +971-2-6150778
- Postal address - ADEC, PO Box 36005, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Last update Friday 06-Jul-2012. Page development 4L 5C.