Unsafe schools in Abu Dhabi may be closed

Loujain’s principal defends school after Adec statement

Loujain is fighting for her life in hospital

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: Hussain family
  • Loujain is fighting for her life in hospital while her attackers remain at school. This week, Adec released a statement saying schools could face closure if health and safety regulations were not enforced.

Abu Dhabi: Loujain’s family are cautiously optimistic about a statement released by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), which indicated that any school found in violation of the safety and security of its pupils may be shut down.

According to the Adec statement: “As provided in related laws and regulations, if findings show that any school failed to provide the required type of monitoring, inspection, safety and security required, Adec has the right to take all necessary steps as stipulated in the current laws and regulations [notices, fines] and it may get to the closure of such school according to the magnitude of the violation committed by its management.”

While I am happy that the statement seems to indicate that the school will be held accountable, I am concerned as how other pupils will be affected if it is shut down

Mahran Hussain, Loujain’s elder brother

The much-awaited Adec statement was issued Tuesday in the wake of the alleged bullying incident leading to serious injury of 11-year-old Loujain who has been in a coma for more than two weeks.

Accountable

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Mahran Hussain, Loujain’s elder brother, told Gulf News: “While I am happy that the statement seems to indicate that the school will be held accountable, I am concerned as how other pupils will be affected if it is shut down. We do not want them to suffer, we just want those who are accountable to be held responsible.”

Loujain, an Iranian expatriate, is a grade seven pupil at the Al Ma’ali International Private School. She and her friends were attacked by the grade four pupils more than two weeks ago when a minor incident turned violent.

The 11-year-old is being treated at the Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) for various injuries including a brain haemorrhage, swelling of the brain and bruising.

Police investigating

Police and officials from Adec are currently investigating. According to an Adec statement, officials were immediately dispatched to the school to get more details and check health and safety measures.

“I feel we should have also been informed that this statement may be released by Adec… we are cooperating fully with the authorities regarding this matter… however, I do not think that the school will be shut down as such incidents are not unique to us but rather take place in various levels in every school,” said Khadeeja Al Sayyar, the school’s principal.

“I would also like to reiterate that we are never negligent when it comes to the health and safety of our pupils. What happened to Loujain is a tragedy, but our administrative staff always does their best to monitor our 1,500 pupils. Since our pupil body is large, there have been instances when we did not manage to catch an incident on time.”

Inquiry: Two aspects to the case

The Loujain Hussain case has two aspects to it, the criminal and the administrative.

The criminal aspect involves police and court investigations; the administrative is Adec’s responsibility.

Adec has immediately dispatched an investigation team to find out more details and information on the incident and on the health and safety measures taken by the school up to the time of the incident.

In addition, Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Adec director general, has visited Loujain at the hospital.

Closure

As provided in related laws and regulations, if findings show that any school failed to provide the required type of monitoring, inspection, safety and security required, Adec has the right to take all necessary steps as stipulated in the current laws and regulations (notices, fines) and it may get to the closure of such school according to the magnitude of the violation committed by its management.

As for the minors who allegedly caused Loujain’s injuries on Thursday 19th April, 2012, and the alleged lack of supervision and negligence by the school if any, Adec is legally obliged not to release any details regarding that matter until all evidence around the case is compiled and released by the Abu Dhabi Police.

In the meantime, Adec is following up on Loujain’s medical condition on daily basis and wishes her a speedy recovery.

source Golfnews.com

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