Dubai school forced to close after doubling fees

More than 250 students face prospect of no class in September
The Dubai American Scientific School in Al Quoz was found to have charged some parents more than twice the amount of fees permitted by the KHDA.
By Courtney Trenwith
Mon 15 Jul 2013 01:49 PM

More than 250 students could be left without a school to attend when classes resume in September after the Dubai education authority granted a request to close an American K-12 school.

The Dubai American Scientific School in Al Quoz was found to have charged some parents more than twice the amount of fees permitted by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority.

It also failed to investigate more than 30 students with extended periods of unauthorised absence, appointed 20 teachers without a formal contract or offer of employment without approval from KHDA or the Ministry of Labour.

It also made a number of health and safety violations.

The school had been rated ‘unacceptable’ by the KHDA since 2008-09, which means it cannot increase fees until it improves.

In September last year the school was sanctioned when a number of education permit violations were discovered. At that time, KHDA issued a directive preventing the school from registering new students and helped existing students and parents find an alternative school.

The for-profit school will not reopen for the beginning of the 2013/14 academic year. It was opened in 2003 by its owners, who are known only as Mr and Mrs Al Kaitoob, offering the American curriculum.

About 525 students were registered at the school in 2012-13, although the KHDA said 320 students were attending classes on a regular basis at the time it carried out an inspection.

KHDA had started helping parents move their children since last year, with 244 already transferring to new schools.

Nearly all of the students are Arabs, predominantly Emirati, according to whichschooladviser.com.

Chief of compliance and resolution commission at KHDA, Amal Belhasa, said: “A meeting was held recently with the school’s owner, during which it was agreed the school will close in September 2013, providing all 251 children were guaranteed an alternative school place.

“Some 244 students have already completed the transfer process to new schools since the beginning of the 2012/13 academic year.

“We consider parents to play a key role in their child’s education and will continue to support parents with children at Dubai American Scientific School to find the best alternative solution.

“KHDA is keen to ensure all children have the right to a quality education and we expect all schools and parents to adhere to the guidelines set out in the new parent-school contracts.”

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