Some Dubai schools begin preparing parents for fee hike

Parents asked to sign form stating they have been informed about “possible fee hike”

Even though the Knowledge and Human development Authority (KHDA) is still some way from announcing if there will be a hike in school fees for the academic year 2013-14, Dubai schools are already doing the ground work for it.

Parents who are enrolling their children for the next academic year are being handed out forms by some schools, hinting at a possible hike.

“I was asked to sign a form, which stated that I am informed about a possible fee hike,” informed a parent, on condition of anonymity.

The school also displayed a notice stating: “Fees for 2013-14 will be determined depending on KHDA approval”.

The parent expressed his concern with the school authorities, but was told that they were merely preparing them, and this in no way meant there would be a mark-up.

“If there is a hike, then you will have to pay the fees as determined by KHDA,” she says she was informed.

“When I asked the officer if she can tell me what percentage of increase I was looking at, she refused to clarify saying that it would depend entirely on the KHDA approval.

“She said last year the increase was 6 per cent, but this year she doesn’t know.”

The Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB) has not yet announced the grading for British, American and other curriculum-schools for 2012-13.

“We can’t budget for the year without knowing how much we have to pay up. There needs to be a guideline,” said the parent.

“Earlier schools were allowed to increase fees only once in three years, but now it looks like an annual event,” added another parent.

When Emirates 24|7 asked the education regulatory authority about whether there will be an increase in fee in the coming year, they said it will depend on the findings by the Educational Cost Index (ECI) that is published by the Dubai Statistics Centre. 

“When the index comes in that’s when the hike, if any, will be determined,” said Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

He added that the fee-hike is not “automatic”, stressing that every school will have to apply to KHDA for approval.

The last year’s index was announced in March, but this year it might be sooner, he predicted.

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