Tearful IISJ boys bid adieu to Rehab campus


Saudi Gazette

More than 4,200 students at the Boys’ Section of the International Indian School in Jeddah’s Al-Rehab district had to bid farewell to their beloved campus all of a sudden. It was an exam day on Thursday and the students were asked by their mentors to assemble at the school auditorium to listen to the shocking news that it was their last day on the premises.

A pall of gloom instantly descended on the entire hall and some sobbing could be heard in the ensuing silence. The decision followed the serving of a legal notice by the owner of the school through a local court to vacate the campus on or before Oct. 9 after winning a legal battle that lasted several years.

Caught unawares of what was happening, many students cried at the very thought of leaving their classrooms and corridors whose walls were replete with exhibits of their talent. In compliance with instructions from their mentors, they plucked out reluctantly the charts, models and pictures and folded them into their bags before stepping out of their classrooms. Teachers tried to pacify the small children when they sobbed after getting instructions to take home all their exhibits.

Many students shared their sorrow when they gave a tearful farewell to the sprawling auditorium and the vast playground where they had to compete each other while scaling ladders of their co-curricular track record apart from maintaining academic excellence.

Dr. Najeeb Qais Ammar, principal in charge, hoped that the school would overcome the difficult phase with the full support of the community. In a circular issued on Thursday, he, announced relocation of the Boys’ Section and rescheduling of the exams.

“As the school is left with no choice but to comply with the eviction order, the students will continue writing their exams at the Girls Section in Aziziyah district from Sunday. In order to avoid disturbance in the examination schedule, the first term examination for classes 11 and 12 classes and half-yearly exams for classes 6 to 10 will be held in the Girl’s Section, with girls sitting the exams in the morning shift and boys in the afternoon shift,” he said, adding that classes for grades 1 to 5 for both boys and girls would remain suspended from Oct. 7 to 11 as part of arrangements to facilitate the conduct of the examinations and the smooth transition after shifting. The classes will resume on Oct. 14.

The new developments have forced the school authorities to introduce the shift system.

Farhan Mohammed Faheem, head boy of the school, said: “All great things at our campus came to an end all of a sudden and it was so heart-breaking as we never thought of it. However, this is not the end and we IISJians would overcome these tough times very soon with the support of our parents and teachers,” he said, echoing the sentiments of other students.

Mustafa Hashmi, literary secretary, said, “Though it’s definitely heartbreaking, we will surely come out of it producing better results.”

Friday and Saturday were busy days for the school officials and staff. They emptied the offices, staff rooms, libraries and laboratories of files, documents and equipment. All belongings including chairs, desks and air-conditioners in the classrooms were removed.