Dubai: School shuts down a week before new academic term Filed on August 25, 2021 | Last updated on August 25, 2021 at 11.30 pm
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Hundreds of students, staff have been affected; school says the closure is due to financial losses caused by Covid pandemic.

Less than a week before the new academic term begins, a school in Dubai suddenly shut down, leaving hundreds of students and its entire staff in the lurch. The CBSE-affiliated school cited ‘financial distress due to Covid-19’ as the reason for the decision.

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Anxious parents and employees of AMLED School Dubai were discussing the school closure on their internal Whatsapp groups recently. On Wednesday evening, they received a circular confirming the shutdown.

“After weeks of speculations and anticipations, we are announcing with a heavy heart that AMLED School Dubai will be closing its operations,” stated the document, a copy of which was seen by Khaleej Times.

It added: “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the school suffered financially to a great extent. AMLED School Dubai has been fighting and struggling to stand on its feet for the past few years and had not given up, but the situation became extremely difficult during the pandemic where the number of students dropped drastically thus decreasing the revenue of the school.”

It underlined: “With this e-mail, we would like to announce the closure of the school during this academic year.”

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is aware of the situation, an official told KT in a statement.

“We are aware of recent developments at AMLED School and working closely with the school’s leadership team to ensure the best interest of all students. At KHDA, the wellbeing of our students is a top priority and we continue to make every effort to address any concerns arising from the current situation,” said Mohammed Darwish, CEO of the permits and compliance sector at the KHDA.

The school, which catered to students from KG to Grade 9, will be conducting regular online classes for its students from August 29 until September 30, 2021, it said in its statement.

“Online classes will be conducted by our same teaching faculty members. Our team of administration and academic staff will continue providing support until each child is placed in a school to continue his/her academic career,” the letter added.

AMLED School Dubai was rated ‘good’ in the KHDA inspection report for 2019-2020. It is tying up with a few other institutions that were also rated ‘good’ “to help its students transfer to these schools without any hurdle”.

A parent, whose child is going to AMLED, told Khaleej Times: “We were completely caught unawares. I am not sure how to find admission for my son at such short notice. It’s such a big change and my son will have to start all over again. A new school means new uniforms, admission fees and new expenses. I am worried about all this, too. The teaching style at the school has been very good. The teachers are excellent. Even they will be without jobs. I feel for them, too. They are the real heroes. They worked so hard.”

A former teacher of the school said: “I had been hearing about this for a couple of days now. Pandemic is the reason for the school’s closure. But in the given situation, it’s going to be difficult for the students and staff now, as nobody was expecting this ahead of school reopening, especially when, I believe, more students would have returned for on-site learning.”

Nandini Sircar

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