Parents fret over merger of four Makkah schools


Saudi Gazette report

MAKKAH — The decision of the Department of Education in Makkah to merge four primary schools has stirred the concern of parents who fear that their children's education will be adversely affected because of crowded classrooms.

The department decided to vacate three schools that were housed in rented buildings and shift them to a fourth school, which is using a proper building constructed by the Ministry of Education.

The merger included the Muzdalifah, Suraqa Bin Malik and Jaber Bin Hayyan primary schools with Salahuddin Primary School in Al-Aziziyah district.

A number of parents expressed fears that the students might be packed into crowded classrooms. They said as many as 42 children shared the same classroom.

Some parents, however, believed that the merger might have positive results because the schools were housed in rented buildings, which were old and cracking and were not designed to be proper educational institutions.

Others, however, were adamant in their view that the merger of the schools would impair their children's education.

Many of the students welcomed the decision and said the new school building was spacious and had sports facilities.

Some of the parents complained that the decision was surprising and they had no idea about it before the first day of the new academic year.

Spokesman of the department Talal Al-Raddadi said the merger of the four schools was not haphazard and was proposed by a special committee, which had carefully studied the issue.

"The department is determined to get rid of all rented school buildings and to fully utilize government buildings," he said.