Erstwhile villa schools now house bachelors

SHARJAH - The premises of most of the villa schools in Sharjah, which were ordered closed recently, are now being used as accommodation for bachelors.

By Riyasbabu

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Published: Mon 11 Aug 2008, 1:06 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:01 PM

Although most villa schools were located in residential areas, landlords continue to retain the school name boards. The classrooms and laboratories have been converted into kitchens and rooms modified to accommodate low-income expatriate bachelors.

The posters, drawings and the images of cartoon characters still adorn the walls. The school tables are now being used as kitchen tables mounted with gas stoves.

“We did not remove the drawings on the walls. It's nice to see them in the kitchen. When we moved to these villas, we felt odd that we were converting classrooms into bedrooms,' says Nawaz, a resident in one of the villas.

Nejeb Rahman, a resident of another villa, said, “Even though the villa was old, the school authorities maintained it well. We got a good deal from the landlord and are paying comparatively low rent than other bachelor accommodations.”

The landlords argue that whether the premises are used for schools or villas does not matter, as long as they make an earning.

The landlord of one of the villas said, “I rented out the villa because I did not want it to remain vacant.”

Renting out the space to bachelors is fetching good money, especially after the new civic order asking bachelors to quit residential areas and move to accommodations in the industrial areas.

The Ministry of Education had ordered the closure of 13 villa schools in Sharjah and cancelled their licences.

Officials from Sharjah Municipality and the Ministry of Education were not availble for comment.

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