Space constraint lands RAK school in dire straits

Space constraint lands RAK school in dire straits

One of the UAE’s biggest community schools predominantly catering to the Asian community, the Indian School Ras Al Khaimah, is in dire straits.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Thu 29 May 2014, 11:04 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:49 PM

Students of the Indian School Ras Al Khaimah being sent out of the makeshift classrooms at the Kerala Club as the KT team arrived there on Wednesday and (right) a school employee tries to snatch the camera from the photographer. — KT photos by M Sajjad

Due to lack of space some of its Grade VII and VIII students have been attending classes in a nearby auditorium, the hall of the Kerala Samajam, a wing of the Indian Association, where public functions are held.

After receiving repeated complaints from social workers, Khaleej Times found that the 36-year-old school did face a shortage of both space and funds. A Khaleej Times photographer was stopped from taking photographs of students going from campus to Kerala Samajam to attend classes.

However, the school authorities are doing their best to rectify the problem and said the classes in the auditorium will stop in the next 15 days.

“We are one of the oldest schools in Ras Al Khaimah, said SA Salim, Indian Association president and chairman of the school. “It’s purely run for service to the community.”

There are six buildings on the campus and 25 classrooms are smart rooms.

“The school houses over 2, 600 students, 130 teachers, and 30 administration and support staff. We have been facing a space shortage, due to which some of the activity sessions are being held in nearby clubs and the Indian Association,” said Muhammed Ali. the school’s principal.

The school, run under the aegis of the Indian Association in Ras Al Khaimah, follows the Central Board of Secondary Education curriculum. Only Grade VII and VIII students’ classes are being held on Kerala Samajam premises.

Though the school has the necessary infrastructure to cater to its students, the six buildings are not enough.

The school authorities, after repeated warnings from the RAK Ministry of Education, said they are working to expand classroom facilities.

“We have been given a deadline to stop conducting regular classes outside the campus,” said AMM Noorudheen, school secretary of Indian Association.

“The school breaks for summer holidays next month. We are working on constructing new buildings in this space or opening a new campus altogether.”

The school has probably one of the lowest fee structures in the country, according to officials.

KG students pay about Dh220 per month and Grade 12 students Dh425- 435.

“Our bus fees vary from Dh75 to 100,” added Ali.

The principal said the CBSE board exams have seen a 100 per cent pass rate.

A parent, who declined to be named, told Khaleej Times: “Two of my children are studying in the school. My son is in Grade XI and my daughter in Grade X. There have been infrastructure problems... The Ministry of Education has given a lot of support to the parents and it is their intervention that has led the school to jump into action.”

Indian Association officials said the school is not run for profits.

“We are not making any monetary benefit out of this school,” said Salim. “It is run under the supervision of the Indian consulate. We are talking with some members of the ruling family for creating additional space. A lot of the students belong to low-income groups. We try our best to not deny admission to any student because they cannot afford high school fees. Our transport charges are also very low. In many cases we have waived the fees of students who could not afford to pay them.”

He also said that the school is trying to obtain the ministry’s permission to run two shifts for boys and girls.

Ministry of Education officials were not available for comment.

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