Over 80% of parents against GEMS school closures

Parents say they pay too much already and fear closures will cause overcrowding - poll.
Over 80% of parents against GEMS school closures
FEES ROW: The majority of parents think they pay too much for school fees already. (Getty Images)
By Elsa Baxter
Wed 07 Apr 2010 07:25 AM

More than 80 percent of parents say Dubai education provider GEMS should not close schools over fee caps, the latest Arabian Business poll has found.

A total of 74.3 percent of respondents said parents already paid enough in school fees and that charges should actually be reduced.

A further 6.3 percent of people advised against closing schools saying it would only put more pressure on overcrowded schools for places.

GEMS, the emirate’s largest schools operator threatened in a letter to Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) it might close a number of older Indian schools unless it was allowed to increase fees.

Sunny Varkey, chairman, said some schools had been “driven to breaking point” and standards could not be maintained with current funding levels.

The KHDA has ruled that private schools should not increase school fees this academic year.

The online poll found 19.5 percent of people supported GEMS in raising fees, with 14.1 percent saying parents could not put a price on their child’s education and 5.4 percent saying GEMS had to pay for building repairs and maintenance somehow.

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