No school has yet applied for fee hike: KHDA - Emirates24|7

No school has yet applied for fee hike: KHDA

Although the education regulatory authority Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has approved the fee hike for this academic year, Dubai schools are yet to file for the mark-up.

“We are yet to receive any applications,” said Mohammed Darwish, Chief of Regulations and Compliance Commission (RCC) of KHDA.

The educational institutions, he elaborated, can apply for the fee increase only after the results of the school inspection are out.

“The Indian and Pakistani schools already have their results now and can apply within 30 days of receiving the communication from KHDA,” he added.

The process, however, will differ for schools, which marks the beginning of the academic year in September. “(Those) schools can only apply once the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) has publicly announced the results.”

Detailing the process, Darwish explained, “Depending on the nature of the request and the level of analysis required, processing time for fee applications may take between 5 and 15 working days.”

The decision of whether to hike or not, the KHDA clarified, lies with the schools. “Schools may or may not choose to increase fees. This decision lies with the schools themselves. However, once they have chosen to increase fees and apply to KHDA, they can only do so in line with KHDA’s approval,” he explained.

The KHDA framework also directed

the schools “to handle all parental input and queries that are connected with the increases that are in line with the fee framework”.

The move to raise school fees has created quite a stir, with parents rejecting the decision by stating it’s unfair to overburden them at a time of economic uncertainty and the schools backing it by affirming that it’ll help upgrade the quality of education.

As per the KHDA guidelines, the increase will be determined based on the inspection grading and the Educational Cost Index (ECI), devised by the Dubai Statistics Centre. Schools that are rated outstanding will be allowed 6 per cent increase, while schools marked good allowed 4.5 per cent, and those listed as satisfactory and unsatisfactory allowed 3 per cent.

Also, this could become an annual exercise, with schools permitted to apply for a fee increase again next year, but only within the criteria set by the KHDA.

The framework elaborated that some schools could even get special KHDA permission to hike more than 6 per cent. And those that will be considered under this bracket are the not-for-profit, embassy and special needs schools and also those investing in infrastructure expansion. The permission, if granted, would mean those schools will have to cap the hike for the next three years.

The fee hike is also disallowed for new schools and will be applicable only after it has clocked three years.

Dubai school fee had remained constant for the last two years following a government decision, and only a few, who obtained the nod from the Ministry of Education, were exempted.