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Thu 18 Mar 2010 07:05 AM

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Dubai education chiefs call for school fees freeze

School regulator says action needed amid tough economic times for parents.

Dubai education chiefs call for school fees freeze

Education chiefs in Dubai are seeking to stop private schools in Dubai from increasing fees this year, it was reported on Thursday.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority has made the call in light on new economic conditions in which parents are struggling to budget for school fees, UAE daily The National reported.

Ralph Tabberer, spokesman for the Dubai Private Schools Group, told the paper it was “seeking an urgent meeting” with the KHDA to discuss the decision.

In a letter to schools, Mohammed Darwish, the chief of the regulations and compliance commission at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said schools needed to “adapt to our changed circumstances”.

“Like everywhere, people are experiencing financially difficult times,” he was quoted as saying in the article.

“All of us must equally share the enormous responsibility to make sure that the children of Dubai do not have their education disrupted because of the economic downturn that has swept the world.”

While the letter does not issue a direct order to bar fee increases, the regulator makes it clear that it would not support fee increases, the paper added.

“We would be concerned to have such requests resubmitted, as we feel that we have made the case very clear,” Darwish said.

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P.A.S.S. 10 years ago

than never I guess. Its too bad, in my opinion, that Dubai succumbs to the red tape and bureacracy that cripples other governments like the UK and US. The crisis unfolded in Aug / Sept / Oct 2008. It seems to me that a year ago would have been the right time to take this hard stance and be clear, but fair, with schools and parents.

Brit happy to be here 10 years ago

Unfortunately, most schools here are operated as businesses, so the schools 'concern' over maintaining standards is more about maintaining their shareholders rather than making sure the children still get the best. Schools have to realise that if they keep pushing their fees up, more families will leave Dubai, meaning less bums on seats - Simples!

Billy 10 years ago

Rajesh, if 85% of people are expat and therefore guests here why would the government pay half their school fees only to let them leave and take their learning with them. I think you need to get real. The actual responsibility for the hugely expensive school fees lies firmly with the schools themselves but unfortunately they are never going to do anything about this as long as they can get away with it, so the solution does indeed lie with the government. I have 4 kids being educated here and whilst I am happy with the standard I am grossly unhappy with the unrealistic fees charged. I agree with PASS that this move should have happened in 2008 so I therefore think the very minimum that should happen is all school fees should be reduced to the January 2008 level with a ban on any further increases until the government advise it is OK to do so and then the increases should be capped at 5%. Simply stabilizing the fees at todays exorbitant level is not enough.

RAJU PAREEK 10 years ago

Hike in school fee from last three years has severely affected those people who are not getting reimbursement of school fee from their employer. But at the same time schools are targetting those people who are getting school fee reimbursement to support their stand that parents are intrested in their school or are satisfied with their system. The scene is to select one out of so many worsts.

Mamdouh Skeik 10 years ago

All private schools and universities must comply with the Education Chief request with no exception to any. I have 2 kids in a private school in Dubai and one son in AUD, fees cost me an arm and a leg! Saving money throughout the entire year in order to settle school payments is just a pain! So please Chief force the freeze, thank you.

Becky 10 years ago

I am deeply saddened that my parents have had to move my sister and me to another school that I have been in since Jr KG - 9 yrs in total. We have said our goodbyes to our friends yesterday being our last day.

Valiyakath 10 years ago

Learnig and education are the fundamental right of every child. After food, clothing, and shelter, accessability to basic education should be ideally subsidised by the state ( it could be from the country of origin of those expatriates or the the countrty they live in. ) Unfortunately, this does not happen in the GCC coutnries, where the question of awarding citizenship of expatriates is a contintious issue. The shools being run by private entrepreneures who's prime motive is making money. The trustee managed schools on the other hand are had with their attitude and they never liseten to the parents when it comes to implementing fee hikes. All these things among many other unresolved issues are taking a toll on the overall images on the educational institutions in this part of the world.

Humera 10 years ago

Along with the concern for education fee freeze, i also bring this to your notice about school transportation fees. I am sure all parents feel the pinch of school transportation fees and have urged the schools to allow them to have only one way facility thus reducing half the cost.

Rob 10 years ago

Will someone please stand up ..... and tell the truth. Which is it ? Is Dubai fine and not affected by the Global economic condition, or is it not ? “All of us must equally share the enormous responsibility to make sure that the children of Dubai do not have their education disrupted because of the economic downturn that has swept the world.” People at the end of the day know the truth. If the authorities are going to lie to us, at least get on the same page and tell the people the same thing. How can some sectors suffer independently from others ? Wake up !!! Stop taking advantage of the working people who are simply trying to raise their families and live a better life.

Karim Fastak 10 years ago

like RERA, they decided to control the rents after they have peaked! The school fees are already so high, I really doubt schools were still planning on increasing them anyways! BTW a big cause of the high school fees are companies that are covering schooling costs without limits (or very high limits).. similar to rent, instead of providing an allowance to employees... and therefore no one has an incentive to save, which results in this inflation that hits EVERYONE!