Deputy Education Minister Dr Abdulla Nazeer has denied his department ordered the management of Arabiyya School to mix classes of male and female students in grade eight in an attempt to solve capacity issues at the site.
Daily newspaper Haveeru has reported that the Principal of Arabiyya School, Sheikh Mohamed Rasheed ibrahim Rasheed, had claimed that management at the site had been informed by the Education Ministry to mix females and males in grades eight and nine to try and solve the capacity issue.
”After the capacity issue of Arabiyya School came to light, outrage was sparked among parents, who then came out to protest,” said Dr Abdull Nazeer. ”Therefore, the ministry looked in to the matter and examined the registry of the school. We found out that there were classes conducted with only 14, 13 or 12 students.”
Dr Nazeer said that the ministry then advised the school management that if these classes were merged, the issue would be solved ”as the standard capacity for a classroom is 32 students.”
”If the school management wishes, they could still continue the classes with fewer students,” Dr Nazeer said. ”We never forced or ordered the school management to do so.” He added that most of the classes in Arabiyya School already had female and male pupils studying together.
However, Haveeru quoted Arabiyya’s principal as saying that he was not comfortable with allowing female and male students to receive mixed education in grade eight and nine due to religious and social concerns.
Sheikh Rasheed added that his concerns were shared by parents of the school’s students.
According to Haveeru, the decision to merge classes would allow 64 students to enrol in grade one of Arabiyya School. Sheikh Rasheed was not available for comment at the time of going to press when contacted by Minivan News.