Indians face stark choices for education

In reference to the article Free land offer to build new Indian schools (March 12), this does not bring about any immediate solutions to the problems faced by ordinary middle class Indian families looking for school admission for their children.

In reference to the article Free land offer to build new Indian schools (March 12), this does not bring about any immediate solutions to the problems faced by ordinary middle class Indian families looking for school admission for their children. Every year information of this sort arrives bringing hope to the community to find an end to this problem, but the news dies a natural death as school reopens and the season progress. Most of the school operators are interested in opening high end institutions which obviously bring more revenue. Thus the demand remains for middle income Indians to seek a standard educational institution within their means. Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

My daughter is one of the victims of the lack of school places. She is currently in 10th grade in Our Own English High School. Her school does not have an 11th grade and as a result she is compelled to move out of the school for her higher studies. She is one of the top students in her school and has scored 98 per cent in maths in the recently conducted pre-board exam. Yet she has not got admission for 11th grade in other schools due to an acute shortage of seats.

She has had her schooling from kindergarten to 10th grade in the UAE and it is very difficult for us to send her alone to India for the 11th grade. As a short term solution, we suggest that the Abu Dhabi Education Council give permission to the existing schools to increase the number of places for the coming academic year, so that the children do not lose a year. As reported, there are so many students who are affected by this shortage of places and this is causing severe emotional stress for both parents and children. Murali Aravindkshan, Abu Dhabi

I refer to Sultan Al Qassemi's opinion article We must believe in our unified identity, or no one else will (March 14). Most people still think of the Emirates as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah etc, so branding the UAE is an all-important task that has been hampered by individual state ambitions to carve out niches for themselves.

Branding the UAE as a single region, representing national unity as opposed to cultural and political unity, is a big task. But someone has to do it and the UAE now is forging ahead with this major effort. Just as the most visible global brand, Coke, alludes to American consumerist values, the UAE brand ought to allude to Arab and Middle Eastern values as the engine behind the fast globalising region. Brand Dubai will have to be leveraged to build brand UAE. Film, culture and tourism are avenues to build upon, but the very fact that the UAE hosts such eye-popping economic prospects and hosts one of the largest, most diverse migrant population by proportion are also factors needing to be woven into the brand fabric. Brand UAE will have to be an amalgam of the old and new in some very innovative way to catch on. Athar Mian, Abu Dhabi

With reference to the article Barbecue fire kills father, injures son (March 14), this may be a news article for us readers. But what must be going on in the minds of the family of Abdul Rahman? My heart goes out to his family. This is the unpredictability of life. Who would have imagined that a barbecue would go so wrong. Let us pray that the son Hanis recovers fast and completely. He will be sole support for his mother. Another lesson for us all is not to take things lightly and too adventurously. Our life is not ours alone. It belongs to a lot of other people: family, friends, colleagues and other dependents. We should get ourselves insured against this unpredictability of life, so that our families will have lesser burdens without our presence and support. Ravikiran MA, Abu Dhabi

In reference to the article Worker 'used phone to film woman in secret' (March 8), this is another example of the Dubai police doing commendable work of protecting everyone and ensuring that the law is respected. Dubai has attracted visitors and investors because it is safe, secure, clean and commercially competitive with an excellent location and infrastructure. During this period of economic global crisis, we must all do what we can to support the police for Dubai to continue to be a safe destination for business and leisure. Mahebub Chatur, Dubai

I refer A portrait of the artists as ... a Qatari (March 12). As an Indian, I am truly ashamed of the bigots we have cultivated in the name of a Hindu way of life. I hope the Indian government has the gumption to grant the artist MF Husain Person of Indian Origin status as a gesture, even though I doubt that he will ever again visit his homeland.

Name Withheld by Request