No Indian, Pakistani school has asked to hike fee… yet

Parents bracing themselves for a fee hike this year can breathe a temporary sigh of relief, as no Indian or Pakistani schools have applied for a fee hike for the academic year 2013-14.

At least not yet.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has confirmed to Emirates 24|7 that they haven’t received any fee-hike application until now, about two weeks after the results were announced on January 29, 2013.

“KHDA has yet to receive requests from the schools as the timeframe stipulated for receiving such requests is 30 days from the date of the announcement of the DSIB [Dubai School Inspection Bureau] results,” Mohammed Darwish, Chief of Regulations and Compliance Commission (RCC), KHDA, told this website.

“For Asian schools (whose inspection results are already out), it is 30 days from the date of the announcement.”

The application has to reach the education regulatory body before the expiry of the 30-day period from the announcement of the Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB) results.

For Indian and Pakistani schools, the grading was released on January 29.

On February 7, the education ministry unveiled the “minus 1 percentage” recording of the Educational Cost Index (ECI), which partly determines the fee hike.

Last year, the KHDA had allowed 129 Dubai schools to increase fees based on the ECI reading at 3.

Published by the Dubai Statistics Centre, the negative reading this year indicates that a fee hike for schools is unlikely. However, exception may be allotted to ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools, provided that they made a substantial educational investment.

“Only schools that invest in the educational infrastructure and can show that their investment has had a positive impact on the educational outcomes and curriculum delivery are allowed to apply for fee-related exceptions,” Darwish explained.

“Additionally, these schools must have been categorised ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ as per the DSIB.”

He, however, was unable to determine the percentage of increase, stating that it would “depend on the size of investment made by the school and the impact it has on the educational outcomes at the school.”

The KHDA framework does not allow ‘acceptable’ and ‘unsatisfactory’ schools from applying for a fee mark-up.

This would indicate that the fees for many Indian schools might remain unchanged for 2013-14.

Last year, schools that were rated ‘outstanding’ were allowed 6 per cent increase while schools marked ‘good’ were allowed to increase their tuition fees by a maximum of 4.5 per cent, and those listed as ‘satisfactory’ and ‘unsatisfactory’ were allowed a 3 per cent hike.

Inspection reports for Indian schools showed that of the 23 Indian schools, only two were rated ‘outstanding’ and seven were rated ‘good’.

The rating for schools from other curriculum is expected in June.

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