Closure of all Abu Dhabi villa schools nearly complete

Since 2010, the Abu Dhabi Education Council has closed 64 of 72 villa schools that once operated in the emirate.

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ABU DHABI // Since 2010, the Abu Dhabi Education Council has closed 64 of 72 villa schools that once operated in the emirate.

In a newsletter to private schools posted recently on its website, Adec said: “The closure of villa schools is part of an continuing programme in line with Abu Dhabi Government’s plan to shut down all Abu Dhabi villa schools to help encourage private schools to operate in purpose built buildings which are consistent with quality and safety standards on lands allocated for education purposes.

“As [few] as eight villa schools are still in operation, but are due to close by July 2015.”

A news conference is planned in the near future to address the matter, The National was told.

Earlier this year, Adec confirmed that the last of the Indian villa schools had closed. These schools included Al Noor Indian Islamic School, Asian International Kindergarten, Leens Kindergarten & School, Wisdom High School, and two branches of Our Own English School.

On its website, Adec defined villa schools as any school operating in a building that was “originally not designed and constructed as a school building, for instance, a residential villa” or “located on a plot of land not designated for a school.”

The newsletter also said that nine new private schools are expected to open in the 2015-2016 academic year. These included four American schools, two English schools, two Ministry of Education schools and one International Baccalaureate school.

“These schools will add around 17,000 seats in the market,” the newsletter said.

rpennington@thenational.ae