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Parents fear fee hike after Dubai school inspections

This week, parents will understand how their children’s schools have fared in the latest round of the Dubai school inspections. Though most are hoping for positive results, some fear what it will mean with regards to tuition fees.

Back in February, schools in Dubai were given the go ahead to increase their tuition fees for the 2017-18 academic year, depending upon the results of the latest round of the Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB).

According to the new fees structure, schools will be eligible for an adjustment of upto double the Education Cost Index (ECI) rate for 2017, which is set at 2.4 percent. This implies that depending on the updated rating of the school (which is to be released this week), fees can now be hiked anywhere between 2.4 percent to 4.8 percent, as per school’s wish.

However, at a time when the UAE is witnessing instability in the job market, parents are bracing themselves for yet more “financial burdens”.

With a son in Grade 8 in one of Dubai’s 16 ‘outstanding’ rated schools, Amit Singh said that he currently pays Dh43,000 annually, on tuition fees.

“It has been confirmed that our school will be increasing its fees. It has done this year on year, since my son joined,” he said.

This implies that Singh will be forking out about Dh2,000 extra each year, which will ultimately affect his savings potential.

“Parents are left in turmoil. We are not getting an increase in salary, yet tuition fees, rises every single year,” he added.

Though he said knowing that his son studies at a top ranked school causes comfort, fee hikes continue to burden the families.

“Many parents I speak to say that they would like a cap on school fees. I would like to see the eligibility for raising tuition on a two-year cycle. If you look at the rental market, when the economy is impacted, rents go down. The same should reflect when it comes to school fees. May be they cannot reduce the fees, but they could freeze them,” he further added.

May R, mother of two students, received news last week that her son’s school, rated ‘good’, would be raising the fees as per the fee framework structure. She is already paying Dh16,000 year for his current tuition.

May said,” The additional 3.6 percent increase will add an extra Dh700 to that total. It may not sound like a lot, but I wonder why the fee is being raised?”

Speaking about the school inspection process, she said that she would like to see more “surprise inspections” being carried out in the future, as this would gauge a more “realistic reflection” of the school’s performance.

“My son’s school is rated ‘good’ but it has never moved from that spot in five years. So why are the fees continually going up,” she asked.

 

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