Doors open for pupils hit by villa schools closure

Parents of students previously displaced by the closure of six villa schools on June 30 heaved a sigh of relief with registrations opening for new private schools in Muroor and Baniyas.

By Olivia Olarte

Published: Thu 12 Aug 2010, 8:32 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:09 AM

As at Wednesday, more than 600 students registered to attend the new Abu Dhabi Philippine Academy in Muroor (previously 6th of August School) for the 2010-2011 academic year, which is set to begin after Eid. The new private school opened registrations on August 4.

According to Kasey Conrad, from the Universal Future Education (UFE) — a school management and consulting firm based in Abu Dhabi — which won the bid to operate the two new private schools utilising the government purpose-built structures, registration for the UFE Private Academy in Baniyas (previously Saad bin Obaidah School) has started two days ago and has around 100 enrollees.

“Around 80 per cent of those previously attending the Pioneers International Private School have already enrolled, and 80 per cent of teachers may be taken in by the new school,” said Dr Daniel Sistona, former principal of the Pioneers School.

Conrad said an American principal will head the Philippine Academy while Dr Sistona will join the school as the vice-principal.

Leila Quiambao, whose two children were previously attending Pioneers, said she has enrolled her Grade 8 and 10 children last week. “I can now breathe easily knowing that my kids will attend school this coming school year. I am happy with the school location, the American teachers, and the fees are lower than from what I paid last school year,” she said.

Tuition fees for the students moving from the closed villa schools will range from Dh3,000-Dh5,400 while for new enrollees it is up to Dh6,400, excluding bus transportation, uniform and books.

The Philippine Academy will offer English-language curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade 12, with supplementary Philippine language and cultural studies subjects. It has a capacity for 1,323 students.

The UFE Academy, meanwhile, will provide an Arabic-language Ministry of Education curriculum with a capacity to accept 1,089 students.

The UFE was selected by the Abu Dhabi Education Council out of 15 contenders based on their technical competence, sound financial backing and capability to build permanent school facilities within three years.

Box 1

· Registration at both schools is from 10am to 4pm

· Classes will start after Eid, around September 13, 2010

· Abu Dhabi Philippine Academy — 050 2333184/050 2333185/050 2333187

· UFE Private Academy — 050 2333179/050 1244105

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