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Worried parents storm Dubai school premises

Muaz Shabandri (Reporter)
muaz@khaleejtimes.com Filed on November 20, 2011

Chaos and confusion broke out as hundreds of parents knocked on the doors of the Rajagiri International School demanding a meeting with the school’s management.

DUBAI — Chaos and confusion broke out early on Saturday morning as hundreds of parents knocked on the doors of the Rajagiri International School in Al Warqaa demanding a meeting with the school’s management.

With more than a thousand students studying at the school, an alleged change of management has left the parents furious.

“We really don’t know what’s happening at the school. There is a new management and an old management and both of them are at loggerheads over the school’s ownership,” said a parent who did not wish to be named.

By afternoon, the number of parents had swelled up to more than 200 as the school staff hosted a parent-teacher discussion to inform parents of the developments. In a letter issued to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the school’s management alleged that the school premises had been sold by the landlord to another group. “The new group has come to the school asking the senior academic and administrative staff to hand over the school documents to them. According to them, it’s their school and we need to get out of the school,” read the letter issued on November 10.

The letter added that the landlord allegedly ordered the school to vacate in the middle of the academic year without any prior notice.

However, the allegations were refuted by the landlord and owner of the school. Speaking with Khaleej Times, Ahmed Al Jafla, owner of the school property, said: “We have not asked any student or staff to vacate the school and we will never remove any student from the school. We are working in the best interest of the students to protect their rights.”

A spokesperson from the school’s ‘new management’ also confirmed that the students have not been asked to vacate.

“Currently the school is being managed by Rajagiri and we have not taken up the school’s management. We are waiting for the necessary approvals from the regulatory body and once the documentation is in place we will provide more information,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson also confirmed that any change of management would not affect the students and classes would continue as normal.

A frustrated parent who was at the school said: “There is a lot of confusion and some of the parent’s want the old management to continue while the others want a new one.”

“As parents, we have been paying the fees regularly and we were never informed of any problems by the school principal or other staff.”

The Regulatory and Compliance commission at the KHDA will look into the case during the coming week as more details will emerge. The school, which was rated ‘Good’ in the annual school inspection report by the KHDA, offers the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum.

According to the school website, the school was launched in 2008 as a joint venture between the Rajagiri Province of the Catholic Religious CMI congregation of India and Sudhir Gopi Holdings, Dubai.

No immediate comment was available from school principal on the issue. -muaz@khaleejtimes.com

author

Muaz Shabandri

Education reporter at Khaleej Times. Dabbles with technology, photography and design in free time. Talk to me food, education and good stories!


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