Parents of Filipino students affected by the closure of an international school in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are still worried despite government’s offer to accommodate their children in other school facilities for the coming school year.
A report on UAE-based news site Khaleej Times said the parents remain concerned about the location of the new school and the absence of Filipino subjects in the English-medium curriculum.
The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) had offered to allocate a school to accommodate Filipino students from the Pioneers International Private School.
ADEC earlier announced it would make available two vacant government schools in Baniyas and Muroor to absorb the 2,291 students of six villa schools ordered to shut down by the end of June.
But a mother of two children studying at Pioneers said the location of the news school is a major concern.
She said she checked with two remaining Filipino schools, the Philippine National School and PISCO Private School, and found out that they are already full.
“If worse comes to worst, we’ll leave the children at home when we go on holiday in July, and they’ll have to go to a public school as no private school will accept them after classes start. But, that is much better than leaving school for a year," she said.
Dr. Daniel Sistona, principal of the soon-to-be-closed Pioneers School stressed the importance of the Philippine curriculum for Filipino students.
“The school itself should be accredited by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines, otherwise, the student will have a problem when he goes back home," Sistona said.
He said he was not sure if the school will introduce Filipino subjects, and if they do, these need to be accredited by the DepEd.
Filipino subjects include the Filipino language, Home Economics and Livelihood Education (HELE), Philippine Arts and Music and Philippine Social Studies.
“ADEC should advise now while the parents still have choices if they have to send their children home or not," Siston said.
Classes in the Philippines start in June and schools will start accepting students in May. Last week, Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Grace Relucio Princesa met with ADEC officials to discuss the provision of a new school for Filipino students.
“We are very pleased to hear about the schools allocation that ADEC is providing, and we are thankful for their concern about our community and about the well-being of our children," said Princesa.
She said her office had heard concerns from parents about securing enrollment in time for the current academic year.
“But we are confident in ADEC’s plans, and will inform parents that they do not need to send their children to the Philippines because every child will receive a place in the schools in the next academic year," she added. — LBG, GMANews.TV