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Abu Dhabi shuts 'unsafe' school

By Sneha May Francis

A school in Abu Dhabi has been shut down over safety issues.

Despite several warnings over the last two years by Abu Dhabi education regulator, the building was not renovated or improved.

The Western Model Private School located in Ghayathi – Western Region – will shut in March.

The decision was communicated to the parents, and the 502 students enrolled in the school will be shifted across six government schools and two private schools in the same locality.

According to Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec’s) PSQA Sector (Private Schools and Quality Assurance) sector, there are more schools that are under similar conditions, and action is being taken to ensure the safety of the children.

“Students health and safety is one of Adec’s top priority.  The overall structure of the building is very poor, and the corrosion risk is rated hazardous,” said Adec official.

A technical report was provided in February 2015 confirming that structural deterioration of the school is “very severe” and the safety hazard of the school is “extreme”. Accordingly, a closure decree was issued on July 20, 2015.

“The building has been operational since 2011, however, this used to be a government school building which is more than 30 years old.”

Adec’s PSQA sector has been in talks with the school about undergoing necessary maintenance requirements on the school building, and the school was also asked to improve its overall school performance.

The education board stressed all private schools are required to maintain safety and security measures in schools.