A group of parents of students of Arabiyya School, the only Arabic medium school in the Maldives have said that they tried to meet President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to discuss the shortage of teachers in the school; only to have the President refuse to meet them.
The parents went to the President’s Office today hoping to meet the president, but was instead accosted by the Chief of Staff of the President’s Office, Mr.Ali Zahir.
“Ali Zahir said that the President could not meet because he was busy and that the president was not aware of the problems Arabiyya is facing”, said one parent. “[Zahir had said that the President] will find a solution”.
According to another parent, the Ministry of Education had announced that all the schools will have a sufficient number of teachers, but the Ministry did not include Arabiyya School. The school is facing a shortage of 22 teachers at the moment.
Last week, the parents of Arabiyya School held a protest after the Education Ministry announced that they plan to introduce coeducation in Arabiyya School. After the protests, the ministry retracted the policy.
During former President Nasheed’s administration, Arabiyya School was closed without providing another building for the school. At the time parents who waited outside the President’s Office to get an appointment with President Nasheed to discuss the matter were forcibly removed from the street by riot police. That day, For the first time in the history of Maldives, the Maldives Police Service used water cannon against the protestors.
Due to public pressure, the Ministry was forced to provide 12 classrooms to Arabiyya School from the former campus of Male English School which at the time was used by Mandhu College.