A major private school in Abu Dhabi threw nearly 400 students out of class for two days and warned they could be expelled permanently unless their parents pay outstanding fees, a newspaper reported on Thursday.
Alworood, one of the largest private schools in the UAE, assembled all the suspended students in one classroom on Wednesday and asked them to contact their families to come and pay or take them home, Emirat Alyoum said.
Many parents denounced the measure as the students are about to sit for their final examination and sent letters to the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) asking it to take action, the paper said.
“I was called by my little son yesterday…when I went to school, I found him crying…I saw hundreds other students who were also suspended for not paying fees…I was told to pay within two days or my son would be expelled from school permanently,” said Ali Khalid Jassim, a student’s father.
“My son has been very upset and is now refusing to go back to school because of the way they did it…they just went into his class and took him with a colleague out and assembled them with hundreds other in one room…they then told them that they are suspended because of their parent’s failure to pay.”
The paper quoted a mother of two female students as saying one daughter was sitting for examination on Wednesday when she was told to stop the test and leave the class room. She was asked to call her parents and tell them to pay.
“I owe the school around Dh3,000 out of the total school fee of Dh45,000…my daughter called me and she sounded very upset…I then sent the sum to the school with the driver so she can finish her examination…I am surprised by this behavior because my daughters are now in the 7th and 8th class and have been in that school since the nursery level…they have always been among the top students and have never caused any trouble,” said Umm Mohammed.
Emirat Alyoum quoted education officials as saying ADEC has received two letters and a flood of phone calls about the problem.
“ADEC has sent a committee to the school to investigate the issue and met the management, which affirmed that those students owe the school around Dh6 million in outstanding fees,” one official said.
He said the management clarified that it had sent three notices to those parents in April, May and June asking them to settle their dues and warning that the students face expulsion unless the fees are paid.