Five public schools across the emirate of Abu Dhabi are this month set to be relocated to newer buildings that will provide pupils with more space and improved educational facilities.
The relocation is part of the Abu Dhabi Education Council's (Adec) drive to ensure that all public school pupils in the emirate are housed in safe premises that allow for interactive classes and sessions, an Adec official told Gulf News.
"Adec's evaluation had earlier revealed that many public schools are housed in older buildings built in the 1970s and 1980s. To ensure pupil safety and adequate learning environments, we have relocated nearly 50 schools since the beginning of 2011, including the five institutions being moved for the start of the second trimester on Sunday," said Khalid Al Ansari, facilities management division manager at Adec.
Many of these older school buildings are located in Al Ain, which had a thriving education sector before the capital city did, the official explained.
"However, the older buildings are not equipped to provide learning in line with the New School Model (NSM) introduced by the Adec. For example, the average size for a 25-pupil classroom in the older buildings is only 45 square metres, whereas the NSM standards calls for a minimum size of 72 square metres for such a class," Al Ansari said.
He added that these larger classrooms, which range from 72 to 83 square metres, will open up more avenues for group-based interactive learning among students.
In addition, the newer buildings are equipped with libraries and auditoriums, as well as football fields in boys' schools and multi-usage halls for sports like basketball and handball in girls' schools.
The five schools to begin trimesters in new premises are the Mubarak Bin Mohammad School in the capital (Cycle 1), Al Khatem Girls School in Al Khatem area outside the capital, as well as Al Jahili Girls School (Cycle 3) and Al Towayya Girls School (Cycle 3) in Al Ain. Al Mabade School in Al Ain's Al Khazna area will also relocate to new premises within the next few weeks, an Adec statement announced yesterday.
Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Adec director general, said the designs for the new schools were part of the council's 2009-2018 strategic plan. "The new buildings will offer safe and flexible learning environments, he said.