Indian group to open international school in Aartselaar
The Indian city of New Delhi, visited by the Flemish trade mission to India, saw the settling of an agreement on Wednesday to open an international school in Aartselaar. The proposed campus of the D.Y. Patil school is currently under construction and the mayor of this municipality on the southern border of the Antwerp agglomeration, Marc Van den Abeelen Open VLD hopes building will be completed in March next year. The opening is scheduled for September 2012. “If we wish to attract Indian investors to Flanders, we need to have this school ready,” stressed the Minister-President of the government of Flanders, Kris Peeters CD&V. The teaching will be in English and the school will accommodate in the region of 400 students and will include nursery, primary and secondary school facilities. It will replace the recently closed Antwerp British School on the Dageraad square.The D.Y. Patil group, a well-known Indian family holding, manages more than one hundred schools in India in addition to one in the US. “This is our first European school,” says Ajeenkya D. Y. Patil. “But from our base in Antwerp we hope to open even more schools in Europe.” The fact that the holding chose Antwerp instead of a city like London, for example, could be attributed to “the excellent care of the wonderful Aartselaar mayor and the large Indian community in Antwerp,” D. Y. Patil suggests. It has been stressed that the school will not be for exclusive Indian use, as Patil strives to facilitate “a healthy mix of different nationalities in one school”. Mayor Marc van den Abeelen believes the school will be a huge success, saying: “The Antwerp region has about 1,200 Indian families, but many of these leave their children to study in India as there is no similar educational system in Belgium.” The actual cost of studying at this new school has not been divulged by Ajeenkya D.Y. Patil, but he does stress that he does not want it to be an “exclusive school” and will therefore keep registration fees as low as possible. Once opened, the school will provide in the region of fifty new jobs.