No immediate danger to Arabiyya School students

Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali has said there are no dangers to Arabiyya School students in continuing to attend the deteriorating school building.

Arabiyya School building was constructed and opened in 2013. The less-than-ten-year-old building already has multiple cracks in the building beams, and parents and the public alike have expressed concern about the safety of the building.

During Wednesday's Parliament sitting, Macchangolhi South MP Ahmed Haitham inquired regarding the condition of the school and asked what the ministry was doing to address concerns expressed by parents.

In her response, the minister said while the new school building was opened in 2013, the ministry was alerted regarding the cracks in the building's beams in December 2020. The minister said that engineers were sent to inspect the building, and a visual inspection was conducted jointly with the Planning Ministry. Their report recommended carrying out a structural assessment, and the evaluation is currently underway, she added.

'The report mainly said it is difficult to assess the condition of the building from a visual inspection alone. It noted that it is imperative to carry out a structural assessment. As per the report, there is no immediate danger to students using the building. We are closely monitoring the situation. If we believe there is any danger to students, we will begin work to evacuate the building,' Dr. Aishath Ali said.

The minister further said the structural assessment would identify the immediate repairs that the building needs. The assessment is being carried out so that the repairs can be done over the school break, she added.

Explaining the assessment process, the minister said samples would be sent abroad to check the strength of concrete. As a result, it would take approximately two months to conclude the assessment, she noted.