UAE | Education

Sharjah schools seek fee increase

Forty-three out of 86 schools in Sharjah seek permission to approve tuition hike request

  • By Jumana Khamis, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:10 March 31, 2013
  • Gulf News

Picture for illustrative purpose only
  • Image Credit: Gulf News archives
  • Students at a private school in Sharjah

Sharjah: At least 43 out of a total 86 private schools in Sharjah have applied for permission to increase their tuition fees by 5 to 10 per cent for the new school year 2013/2014, Gulf News has learnt.

The Head of Schools and Institutes Licensing at the Sharjah Education Zone, Mohammad Esmail Al Zarouni, said that the department has formed a committee to assess schools who have requested a tuition hike in accordance with regulations, according to a report in an Arabic newspaper. An official at the Sharjah Education Zone told Gulf News that a decision is yet to be taken on the fee hike.

Thirty-four schools which follow government and foreign curriculums, and nine schools which follow Indian curriculums have all requested a tuition hike.

In reference to resolution No 203 of 2008, schools are allowed to increase their fees annually by 5-10 per cent, said Al Zarouni, adding that the earlier resolution of 2001 allowed an increase only once in three years.

The Sharjah Education Zone is also urging the administrative authorities of the 43 schools to notify the guardians of the students about the possibility of a tuition hike for the next school year.

Parents on tuition hike

With half the private schools in Sharjah requesting an increase their annual tuition fees, Gulf News talked to several parents whose children attend private schools.

Mother-of-two Rakhi Kapur said that schools often fail to consider the extra costs of transport and after-school activity classes. “We are paying around Dh1,000 dirhams which is Dh10,000 a year for each child’s tuition as well as other costs for extra classes after school,” said Kapur. She also pointed out that students who are interested in music, art and sport are offered extra classes which the schools do not include in their annual tuition fees.

“They should not hike the fees again because as parents we are paying so much for the education of our children and education in general is very expensive here in the UAE,” added Kapur.

While school tuition is included in the job package for some parents, other families are not so lucky. “We have to pay the full amount from our pockets and it will be another burden to bear if they hike the fees,” said Kupar.

Another concerned parent, Dr Pawan Kumar Madan, said he has had to bear the cost of a 30-40 per cent tuition hike last year at the private school his son is attending.

“If the fee increment is in proportion with our earnings, then the fee hike doesn’t pinch, but if it is out of proportion with the rate of inflation in the UAE, then it really affects us,” said Madan.

Pointing out that while schools continue to request a hike in fees, he said that the standard of education remains the same. “Schools should hold more parent-teacher meetings to explain to us why they are requesting the hike and what will change in the school, whether it’s in extra curricular activities or classes,” added Madan. The sudden decision by schools to increase tuition fees is often unjustifiable, he added.

Fee increases in other emirates

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) bases school fee increases on their ranking in inspection. Schools in Dubai are allowed to increase fees based on the ranking awarded.

Schools that were rated ‘outstanding’ were allowed a 6 per cent increase, while schools ranked ‘good’ could hike their tuition fees by up to 4.5 per cent, and those listed as ‘satisfactory’ and ‘unsatisfactory’ were allowed a 3 per cent hike.

Despite this policy KHDA has announced that there will be no fee hike in private schools in Dubai this academic year (2013-2014). This is because the Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC) announced this year’s Educational Cost Index (ECI) is minus 1 per cent. Not-for-profit and embassy schools rated ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’, however, can apply for a fee hike as per exemptions allowed in the School Fee Framework. 

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) accepts requests from schools and then conducts a study. Last year Adec gave approval to 31 private schools out of 60 that applied. The hikes included an increase in tuition fees and non-academic charges, but overall did not exceed 1.84 per cent.

Comments (7)

  1. Added 17:26 April 1, 2013

    Education in UAE is turning into a system in which parents are the ultimate sufferers. As schools continue to increase their fees, tuitions too are another headache. While the schools raise their fees, teachers resort to increase their income in tuitions without any hesistation. If the child is not sent for tuition, the result is shown on the report card. So, either way, the parent suffers.

    Marina Pinto, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:48 April 1, 2013

    My son is in grade 1 in a private school in sharjah and i am paying 4200 dhs for 3 months only. I think this is already too much. so, I dont think there is any need of fee hike in sharjah

    roomana, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:03 April 1, 2013

    I very much agree with Shabna i am working one of big group company in UAE but from last 7- years my salary is not increase if school increase fees high it will be very difficult to manage our family giving education in UAE I request authorities and school managment not to hike the fees and think as view of parents

    Naseer Lathiffuddin, Sharjah, India

  4. Added 11:07 April 1, 2013

    My daughter is studying one of the new school in Sharjah. This academic year the school authority didn't inform us about the hike in their tuition fee. As usual on the open house day, we went to pay the next year's fee and to collect the books and stationary. The clerk said there is a hike in the monthly tuition fee. We were surprised, the management has to inform us before ending of the last year so we can research other schools. Now, all the school have closed their admissions and there is no other option, but to continue in the same school. Please, the officials have to be involved in this problem and we need a solution. Please don't let the schools to hike the fee as it is too much we are spending even for the KGs & Grade1-5 already. Please

    Anonymous, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:45 April 1, 2013

    i agree with Dr. Madan in that school authorities should hold PTA meetings to share their thoughts and plans about fee hikes and how that will (positively) impact our children. Quite naturally parents wish for status quo but the occassional constructive comment may help find a mid-way solution. Another poster commented that schools know we parents are helpless and will pay through our nose to ensure a good education standard. That, however, should not be taken as licence to hold us to ransom. Finally, Sharjah Education Zone revising the 2001 resolution in 2008 allowing schools to increase fees by 5-10% was justified at the time when the economy was booming and annual raises were a common thing. But that decision should also be revised back now that we have suffered many years of hardships and frozen pay.

    S Mehta, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:40 April 1, 2013

    This is not acceptable. Already school fees are at a peak. We are paying almost 40% of our income only for school fees. As everybody knows, not only school fees we have to take care of, but bus fees, books, activities, a huge amount comes every month. School fees are increasing, but in the same way our salaries are not increasing. School managements should realise that fact. Schools know that without bargaining people will pay the fees whatever it is. That doesn't mean that we have lots of money. Everyone wants to give good education to their child that's true, but for that there is a limit for suffering also. Before asking for a hike in the fees think from parents' point of view also.

    Shabna, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:20 April 1, 2013

    I think its a very good and positive sign increasing the fees. after that, the quality of education will also be improved.

    Ned, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates


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