School shut over child’s death in bus
Red Sea International School has been permanently shut down over the death of a Grade 3 student in the school bus here in October.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) has provided a list of 30 international schools to admit students for the second term beginning Jan. 17, 2016.
The MoE has put up a notice on the front gate of the school saying that the first term exams from grade 4 to 9 will be held at a government school in Rehab district from Dec. 17 and certificates will be given to the students.
Abdul Malik, a six-year-old student of the school, had apparently fallen asleep on the bus on the way to school.
The driver had then parked the bus until the end of the school day. The child reportedly died due to suffocation.
The father and uncle of the child have accused school officials of being negligent and said they should have noticed the child was missing.
Parents had gathered in front of the school on Sunday, requesting the MoE not to close down the school because “they had already paid the fees for the whole year and their children’s studies would be affected.”
Abdullah bin Ahmed Althagafi, director general for Education in Jeddah, however, said that the school failed to inform the parents early about the decision of the MoE. He said the ministry has given choice to the parents to choose any three schools from the list to transfer their children.
Althagafi said the ministry will provide a center for the first term exams under the supervision of the selected teachers from the MoE and provide certificates to the students so that they can take admission in any other school from the 2nd term.
He said the MoE will facilitate the transfer of students to international schools (American or British curriculum) according to the wishes of the parents.
Tabasum Rahman, an administrative staff of the Red Sea International School, confirmed the MoE order to close down the school.
She said the first term exams for grade 4 to 9 will be held under the supervision of the MoE but there will be no exams for grade 1 to 3.
Wafa Ibrahim, who was working as a teacher in the school and whose children were studying there, told Arab News that the school had many problems, besides the student’s unfortunate death.
“The school administration had not paid the teachers’ salaries for the past two months; there were unqualified teachers, school license had expired, school did not have civil defense equipment.
The ministry was sending them notice after notice but they did not bother. Almost 20 teachers had been dismissed by the ministry supervisor, but the school owner had brought them back,” she said.
Two other parents also confirmed that they had heard that the school had many other problems with MoH and that they were expecting refund of the fees.
They said the ministry has provided the list of the schools, but what about the money they paid for books, school uniform and fees for whole year.
They said the school administration told them the owner lives in America and if she comes they will try to refund the fees.