The government has decided to shut down Arabiyya School in Male’ after cracks in the building caused a wall to collapse yesterday.
Nobody was physically injured in the collapse but the principal, Mohamed Rasheed Ibrahim Rasheed, said two students suffered shock.
He said that the school had been aware of the condition of the school’s walls six years ago.
”The school was built out of granite 20 years ago,” Rasheed said. ”We knew this six years ago and we had been informing the education ministry about the problem ever since.”
Rasheed said the education ministry promised to reconstruct the school but ”have no budget.”
”Senior officials from the education ministry came here yesterday and met with the school board,” he said.
He said the school would be closed temporarily and the students will have to wait until the ministry decides what to do with them.
He said he had recently told the education ministry that the walls of the school were very weak, “and that I would not be taking responsibility if a student got injured.”
Deputy Minister for Education ministry Adam Nazeer said the ministry had decided to demolish and reconstruct Arabiyya.
”We had finished drawing the chart of the building,” he said, ”and will be publishing in the gazette for submission of proposals by those who are interested in doing the job.”
He said the ministry would meet the school board to discuss what to do with the students in the meantime.
”We will arrange it in such a way that they can study with their classmates and their teachers,” he said.
State Ministry for Islamic Affairs Ahmed Shaheem said the ministry was very concerned about the issue and “regretted” that the students would be kept waiting without studying.
”The Islamic Ministry will help them in any way we can,” Shaheem said.
He noted that students who graduated from Arabiyya School “have never taken part in violence or crime.”
”I’m very confident that the education ministry will decide the best way ahead for them,” he said.