UAE | Education

Bus fee hike in GEMS schools

GEMS Parents burdened by 10 per cent increase in bus fee

  • By Anjana Sankar, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 22:35 January 16, 2013
  • XPRESS

Dubai: GEMS Asian schools have hiked transportation charges by up to 10 per cent for the next academic year starting April. School Transportation Services (STS) that operates bus services in 35 schools in the UAE said similar increases will be applied to all international schools in September. “The monthly bus fee was Dh330 for my child. Now I have to pay Dh360 as per the circular I received. It is a small increase, but in a year, the increase adds up to Dh270,” said a parent of Kindergarten Starters.

Col. M.L. Augustine, Managing Director of STS told XPRESS the increase was necessary to sustain business. “We do not want to burden parents. But we have incurred huge expenses in introducing new safety features like video surveillance systems, electronic attendance systems and GPS among others.”

Augustine added that costs have also gone up because of the reduction in the number of seats as per RTA (Roads and Transport Authority) specifications.

STS has a 1,200-strong fleet of school buses and has trained female conductors for 60 per cent of its buses to ensure safe transport of school children.

Comments (16)

Your comments
  1. Added 10:09 January 20, 2013

    My Son and Daughter are studying in GEMS Group school. Unfortunately, when my son started schooling, the fees was quite nominal so was my daughters. But every year, the school sends a circular in May that the fee has increased! This gives parents No Choice to transfer their kids to another school. Earlier, they made a whole big set up about STS and BBT, but at the end I knew that this is to attract fabulous fees from poor parents. A Committee should be set up to closely monitor such fee hikes, either for bus services or tuition fees or any other fees levied forcibly by school. Hopefully, our comments dont fall on deaf ears!

    Sayra, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:32 January 17, 2013

    In my opinion, high school students can avail RTA's excellent public transport services where parents can save on escalating school transport fee. Now everyone have Emirates Id, as such get Bonafide Student Certificate from School and apply for NOL Blue Card.

    Mohammed Zaheer OV, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 16:08 January 17, 2013

    I disagree with S. Mehta's comment. Though KHDA barred fee hike during 2009 to 2012, Gems increased their fees in many schools by 10% mentioning that they have approval from the Ministry of Education. Nobody objected to this. This year GEMS schools started collecting AED500 from all parents for next year's confirmation of seats and there was a small note in their circular that they are not sure about any increase in fee for 2012-13 so that any increase in future should be notified later. The fact is that they are waiting for STS fee hike and then they will go for hike.... No doubt.

    ANIL, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:27 January 17, 2013

    How many more hikes? If they say it is due to CCTV, GPS etc. then take a one-time payment from parents. It's all rubbish. This was something GEMS had to do earlier and pay compensation to parents for not installing this. School racket is the biggest business in Dubai. I wish I could start a school.

    Tariq, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 12:20 January 17, 2013

    Yet another tactics to make money from parents. My daughter goes to DPS Sharjah and they have all these facilities in a bus and they don't charge any dirham to offer the extra services. I don't know why these schools force and harass parents for extra money, I request authorities to scan the hike and see if it's genuinely required or not.

    Faisal, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:20 January 17, 2013

    Everyone has a habit of accepting everytthing

    JOHN, dUBAO, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 10:18 January 17, 2013

    I would like to request to the concerned authourities to review the increase and demand from the bus service provider how they are increasing the transportation fee while offering the same facility (no increase in fuel) and without increasing any additional quality output. Parents are already overburdened with fee hikes from GEMS. Thanks.

    M. Faisal, Dubai, Pakistan

  8. Added 09:51 January 17, 2013

    Every year there is an increase in either bus fee or school fee from the GEMS group. In the UAE, GEMS do this without any mercy. It is high time to check the profitability of these organisations by some authority. The fact is that school fees plus bus fees become doubled or even tripled in the last five years. Since there is not much options available all parents are keeping quite. May be in some casees children's fees are being paid by their parents employers but the majority of them is suffering. NO OPTIONS than cursing ourselves.

    ANIL, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 09:33 January 17, 2013

    Congratulations GEMS! You've found the most logical loophole to extract money from parents without incurring the ire of the Education Ministry. STS is fully owned by GEMS and since the KHDA won't allow increase in tuition fees, where else to raise the money from? If the hike is necessary to cover the 'huge' increase in a one-time expense of improving infrastructure, why not insist on a one-time supplement? There's no way this fee is going to be rolled back once the expenditure is recovered.

    S Mehta, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 09:16 January 17, 2013

    The Bus fee was Dh150 earlier, they jiked it to Dh300, now they made it Dh325 in Abu dhabi. Let them do business. We as middle class families don't know where to go and complain. Our voice will not be heard.

    Cleetus, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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