There is no hope of anything good happening in the near future for Arabiyya School – the only Arab-language school in the Maldives, state the school’s parents.
The school’s parents had a meeting with Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali on Monday to share their concerns.
One of the parents who attended the meeting, who spoke to Sun on condition of anonymity, said the government has yet to clear the Old Jamalludin School plot which has been allocated to construct the new Arabiyya School building, passing deadline after deadline.
“Looking at the state of the place, I am certain they will not be able to clear the land by the new deadline they gave. Its delay after delay,” said the parent.
The parent questioned why the government failed to earmark funds for the project in the budget, given their claim the project is a top priority.
Earlier this week, Arabiyya School’s principal Mohamed Shujau Abdul Raheem was dismissed and replaced with Iskandhar School’s principal Hussain Saeed.
The decision sparked protest from parents.
The parents said the government cannot ‘control’ their complaints and displeasure even if they replace the school’s management and staff.
“We have heard many rumors about the Iskandhar School principal. He reportedly says that there is no demand for Arab-medium education. We questioned how he is to head this school if he isn’t even sure the school should exist. This is a matter of great concern to us,” said the parent.
A leading member of the school’s PTA who spoke to Sun on condition of anonymity said they weren’t happy with how the Education Ministry extended its invitation for the meeting.
The PTA member said they were invited to the meeting on short notice, denying the opportunity for many of the parents to join the meeting.
We find it unacceptable, said the member.
The parents went to the Education Ministry to meet Dr. Aishath on Monday morning. However, they didn’t get to meet her until five hours later, in the evening.
The police had attempted to force the parents to leave the premises.
Arabiyya School parents said they had requested a meeting with Dr. Aishath three weeks back, but were repeatedly told she was busy and couldn’t make the time.
The parent also went to the President’s Office on Monday morning, after failing to receive a response to a letter they sent months back.