Parents get what they pay for, say schools

KHDA has released a rating of schools in Dubai in which five Asian schools have been termed as 'unsatisfactory' (File)

Schools that received “unsatisfactory” ratings in a recent KHDA inspection say the results are a reflection of the fees they charge the students.

Senior officials at some schools told Emirates24|7 that lack of facilities and the financial background of parents choosing their schools meant very little parental support, thereby resulting in poor performance and grading.

A total of five schools - including three Indian and two Pakistani - have been rated as unsatisfactory and none of their fees showed any major difference in structure. Rather the tuition fee charged by the Buds Public School and the Pakistan Education Academy both of which received unsatisfactory grading for the second year in a row, was higher than many schools with good and acceptable grading. 

Meanwhile, the Al Majid Indian School in Ghusais says its plans to close down after this academic year has got nothing to do with the KHDA inspection reports. “We had communicated the decision to parents several months ago and alternate arrangements are being made to accommodate the students and teachers,” said Rafiq Rahim the principal of the school.

The school, which currently offers CBSC syllabus is migrating to CISCE and will commence operations from 2012. “The school was being run by a group of six Indian businessmen. The school is being taken over by a different management, which has the experience in running many schools in Dubai and India. We will have a fresh start from 2012,” said Rahim who served as the school’s principal for the last 15 years.  

“Schools like ours cater to a section of society that cannot afford to pay huge amount as fees. We have been offering our best,” he said and added that the 1,000 odd students will be taken in by five other schools.”

According to Dorai Raj, principal at Buds Public School, the timing of the inspection was not suitable for the school and resulted in the lower grading. “The first time the KHDA inspected our school, we had just moved out of a villa and into the new building. The second time too they visited us in April 2010 and the timing was not suitable for us. Otherwise we would have got a better grade. Ours is a 23-year-old school and our students get 100 per cent results in all CBSC exams,” he said.

However, most principals said teachers were only paid between Dh2,000 and Dh4,000 and said they could not afford to increase their salaries. “With the type of fees that we charge it is difficult to pay teachers more salary,” said Raj.

According to Leena S Kumar of Little Flowers English School the salaries of some teachers were raised to Dh2,000 only last year. 

Commenting on the KHDA grading she said all efforts are on to get better results in 2012.

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