MoE STOPS LICENCE RENEWALS OF DEFAULTING PRIVATE SCHOOLS

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has decided on not renewing the licences of a number of private schools in the light of a report submitted by the private education department regarding multiple violations of educational and health norms by these institutions.

By Mohsen Rashid (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Mon 7 Nov 2005, 12:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:22 PM

Renewal of licences would be considered only if the schools take corrective action.

Dr Jamal Al Meheiry, Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Education, recently received the report submitted by a team from the private education department in Dubai Educational Zone (DEZ), which conducted several field inspection visits to a number of private schools.

Pictures showing the dismal conditions of these schools have been published in newspapers which reveal that they lack the minimum standards expected of educational establishments. These schools were found to have been established in residential buildings without proper facilities. Two of the institutions are identified as the Bangladesh and Dubai Pearl Schools which failed to take corrective measures despite being given enough time and several chances to do so.

The MoE Under Secretary's office today received the last field report from the foreign schools department in the ministry regarding Al Asreya private school and nursery, which has earned the dubious reputation of committing a record highest 23 violations pertaining to health, education and employment.

Foreign schools department and DEZ officials are unable to believe that the photographs attached to the reports on these schools are real. They couldn't believe that these are schools were licensed by the MoE to operate.

The field report has revealed blatant violations that no visitor could help noticing such as no lights in classrooms, no ventilation system, the location of the building is an old villa and old furniture. Officials who saw the photographs, didn't believe that the classroom pictures belong to a school here in Dubai.

The so-called 'computer laboratory' is located in the kitchen due to lack of space. Four old computers are not working. The school even used the electricity room and turned it to a clinic, while the electric transformer was left wide open with no cover, posing a real danger.

Bathrooms were found full of weed and mildew. Classrooms have old ceilings from which the ceiling fans are suspended precariously as if they are about to fall on the kids heads anytime. The school has used a car parking lot and turned it into a playground by putting some old unsafe toys for the kids.

The report also stated that a storage room between classes, in which old furniture, books and equipment are stored, has become an environment for insects and rodents.

Regarding employment violations, it was discovered that the school has been running classes ranging from nursery to the 6th grade for 13 years now, and that among the 15 teachers and administrative staff, there are only two teachers with a job contract who in turn are holding expired labour cards for the last two years.

If these violations are not enough, the school has an unlicensed nurse and the illegal salaries which are not more than Dh1,500. The school is managed by a couple, the wife being the principal and her husband the deputy. The Arabian schools section manager and the previous head of private education, Ismael Muhammad, had signed almost all employment letters.

There was one case of a teacher holding a masters degree in politics, and another case of a high school diploma graduate who teaches general subjects, and a third Arabic teacher with a high school diploma. The principal is a high school diploma holder as well.

The Dubai Education Zone has recommended that renewal of the school's licence be suspended, while not allowing transfer of licence until the school corrects its situation and moves its students to a school building or distributes them among other schools.

The licence owner will have to sign a promissory note stating that he or she will correct the mentioned situations. They had signed one such note before, on April 8, 2003, for receiving a warning from DEZ, but didn't fix the situation since then.


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