Coronavirus Pandemic

Abu Dhabi schools: Covid fears reduced KG occupancy

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on March 10, 2021
(FIle photo used for illustrative purpose)

Principals eye increase in admissions as registrations for next academic year opens.

Private schools in Abu Dhabi saw a dip in occupancy rate for kindergarten classes during the current academic year (2020-21), principals have said. They attributed parents' reluctance to send children to school amid Covid-19 for it.

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With admissions for the next academic year now open, they expect things to look up.

Anna Pagdiwalla, principal of Mayoor School in Abu Dhabi, which offers a mix of online and in-person classes, confirmed the trend.

“The school has opened for registration of new students for the next academic year 2021–22 and we are hopeful our kindergarten classes will return to full capacity," she said.

Salman Khan, deputy principal, Islamia English School in Abu Dhabi, said they had begun registration in March for KG students. The registration for students enrolling in higher classes would begin "later".

“Though parents of small children have been unwilling to send their children to school this year due to the Covid-19 situation, our admission request rate for the next academic year is nearly the same as in previous years,” Khan said.

According to a report, some private schools were offering discounts of up to 25 per cent for kindergarten classes for the first term of the next academic year to increase occupancy rates.

But Khan said their school isn’t offering discounts. “We already have an affordable fee structure with UK Curriculum and moreover, we have neither lowered teachers’ salaries nor terminated any during these unprecedented times,” he told Khaleej Times.

Neeraj Bhargava, Principal of Abu Dhabi Indian School, said his school is "one of the cheapest" in Abu Dhabi and that no discount has been given to students for the next academic year.

“We have already received hundreds of applications for new pupils wanting to enroll in kindergarten for the next academic year,” he said.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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