By Jola Chudy
Regional education group is the first to announce relief plan for families of Dubai students
Al Najah Education, one of the leading education providers in the region, announced plans this morning to offer immediate discounts on term three school fees for all its international schools in Dubai.
With distance e-learning at home now set to continue until the end of the year, Al Najah Education is offering an immediate discount of 20% for fees for the third school term. Parents who have already paid in full will receive an equivalent credit against next year’s fees.
Arabian Business yesterday had urged school groups to consider discounting fees, in an article that was widely read and shared on social media.
Al Najah, which has been operating in the UAE since 2011, with three schools in Dubai, is the first education group in the UAE to announce the discount.
Raza Khan, CEO of Al Najah Education, speaking exclusively to Arabian Business, said: “Horizon schools are notable for their community-minded values, and at a time of unprecedented crisis, it would be wrong not to put those values into swift and immediate action.
"Our customers are parents and families who are loyal and active members of our community and we want to repay their loyalty, at a time when many of our families are struggling with reduced salaries and lack of cash flow.
"We have spent the last month doing contingency planning for several outcomes, one of which was that schools would stay closed until the summer, which has now been announced.”
The group’s schools implemented distance learning almost immediately and are currently implementing improvements to the system to reflect the longer than initially anticipated period of distance learning.
Horizon English School headmaster Ian Wallace said: “As a school, feedback is incredibly important and we have listened to our community and taken steps to act quickly to support our school families.
"Despite the challenging situation, the teaching team has done everything to maintain our community feeling and our connections during a strange and turbulent time.
"Our members of staff are working flat out to minimise the impact on students and we are now actively looking at ways to adapt to 12 more weeks of distance learning”.
“It is a hardship for parents to balance working at home with teaching children and we are currently looking at ways to make the process easier. We recognize that this is now a marathon and not a sprint, and are looking at ways to ease the pressure on parents,” added Khan.
New plans currently under review include extra lessons in September to make up the lost time, and blended learning initiatives, as well as additional support for making up lessons at home.
“Between now and end of this calendar year, even if we have lost this term, we will ensure that all children will catch up by January. The most important thing is to support our community.”
He added: “As a business, Al Najah is going to lose money by offering this discount, but we are committed to repaying the loyalty of our customers and to ensuring that our community of world-class teachers, who have been working tirelessly to adapt the curriculum to distance learning, remains employed.”
Al Najah Education operates a portfolio of schools in Singapore, Malaysia and regionally in Oman and the UAE. In Dubai, the group owns the outstanding-rated Horizon English School, along with Sabari Indian School and Horizon International School.