Future of 4,000 students ‘bleak’ due to Fahaheel National School closure

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No alternative has been provided so far

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 9: The academic future of more than 4,000 students is bleak due to the closure of Fahaheel National School as the dilapidated building is on the verge of collapse; yet no alternative has been provided so far, reports Al- Anba daily. This is the problem of Bedoun and expatriate students residing in the 10th district of Ahmadi and Mubarak Al-Kabeer governorates, as they cannot transfer to model schools due to low income and distance.

Dilapidated condition of the Fahaheel Private School building

The daily recently met the parents of students with limited income to know their demands. The parents said they were surprised when the school’s administration asked them to quickly transfer their children as it decided to close the school permanently due to the dilapidated building. The parents pointed out there are no private schools in the area; so closing the school without an alternative may lead to the displacement of more than 4,000 students. “Now that the current school year has ended, the fate of our children is still unknown as we cannot enroll them in model or remote schools for several reasons, including the distance,” the parents added.

This school serves the residents of Wafra, Sabah Al-Ahmad, Fahaheel, Ahmadi and Mubarak Al-Kabeer. All these areas are far from Hawally, Farwaniya, Capital and Jahra Governorates, the parents complained. Last month, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Ali Al-Yaqoub, in the presence of the Undersecretary of Special Education was to submit five proposals during a meeting on July 29, to discuss the fate of 4,300 students of the Fahaheel National School which is facing closure due to its dilapidated condition, reports Al-Seyassah.

During the meeting the most appropriate decisions were to be adopted in the best interest of the students. The education sources indicated one of the proposals to be discussed during the meeting is to extend the work in the current school building for one academic year with temporary maintenance of the building until a permanent replacement is found for these students. Senior education sources revealed one of the five proposals, constitute good news for the students of this school, which is scheduled to be closed during the next academic year due to its lack of maintenance and its structural condition, which requires a radical comprehensive and integrated maintenance of the building as a whole.

The sources stated the second proposal put forward was to transfer them to other private schools in the neighboring areas of the Ahmadi Governorate, provided the tuition fees remain unchanged, indicating that this proposal requires the cooperation of other private school owners with the Ministry of Education in order to get out of this situations and to the satisfaction of all parties. The sources added the third proposal is a study of the possibility of opening a school for them during the evening — a proposal that may not find favor due to the school administration’s need for a permanent place of their own to have its own archive, not to mention the administrative and financial issues which may not be possible in the same building.

The sources said the fourth proposal, which provides for the allocation of one of the closed government schools affiliated to the Ahmadi Educational Zone to be a substitute for the current private school and handing it over to the school administration from starting of the process of preparing and maintaining it to receive students at the beginning of the next academic year, indicating that this proposal requires identifying one of the closed secondary schools with a large space. The fifth proposal put forward to address the problem of the Fahaheel National School, stipulates the study of the possibility of receiving them in government studies, a proposal that the sources saw that in light of the application of health requirements and the reduction of student densities in the classrooms, it may hinder its application unless the Ministry finds an effective mechanism since the number of students in Arab schools are high.

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