The Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai has clarified that “there has been no raise in school registration fees in Dubai”.
In a statement to Emirates 24|7 the KHDA also stated that it has not fined any schools.
“The re-registration fee of 10 per cent is in line with the schools fee framework issued in April 2012.
“The fee is deductible from the annual tuition fees charged by the school. Schools are very clear about this fee and KHDA has received no complaints from parents on this issue. The exceptions we anticipate are parents who happen to move countries or cities after securing a place and paying a deposit,” the statement said.
The KHDA statement comes in response to a report that parents of students in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are upset with some private schools for raising the registration fee for the academic year 2013-2014 without reason.
According to the report, the parents said the hike in registration fees is more than what is fixed by the education departments of the UAE’s emirates.
Dubai has fixed the raise in registration fee at not more than 10 per cent of total tuition fees.
In Abu Dhabi, the maximum hike allowed is five per cent.
In Sharjah, the increase should not be more than Dh500 regardless of the tuition fee.
Parents are hoping that the proposed new federal law to regulate private schools will be issued soon which will limit the fee for registering their children for the next academic year.
Education department officials had said in the report that they are receiving many complaints from parents regarding registration fees for in the next academic year.
Officials said they take quick action against those schools if any wrongdoing by them is proven.
The first step is to warn the schools violating the law, after which they can be fined. The fine in Sharjah can be up to Dh10,000.
Hamad Al Dhaheri, executive director for private education at the Abu Dhabi Education Council, said private schools are allowed to charge no more than five per cent of the total tuition fees as registration fee.
He added the student’s guardian can file a complaint if the school seeks a larger amount as registration fee.
Al Dhaheri said the proposed federal law on private education would help achieve uniformity in school fees which will reduce complaints from parents.
Hessa Al Khaja, head of private education at Sharjah Educational Zone (SEZ), said the registration fee for the next academic year for schools in the emirate had been fixed at Dh500, regardless of the tuition fee.
She said if any private school seeks a higher amount as registration fee, parents are entitled to file a complaint at the Private Education Department, with documents to substantiate the complaint.
Al Khaja said the school has to resolve the issue within three days of the complaint being brought to their notice.
She pointed out that there is a list of sanctions against offending private schools, ranging from forcing them to refund the increased fee and issuing a warning to imposing a fine of Dh10,000.
Fawzia Hassan, Assistant Undersecretary of the MoE for Private Education, said the ministry has not set any ceiling on registration fee.
She said what is happening is that, because of the rush to register the students for the next academic year, some parents prefer to pay extra to ensure that their children are registered.
She denied receiving any complaints from parents and said the new federal private education law is still in the legislative stage.