Dubai: Parents have lodged 74 complaints against Dubai’s private schools this month at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
Their concerns range from violence among students to safety of pupils, school transport and worries over high school fees.
“Over 74 complaints against schools have been received so far,” Abdul Rahman Nasser, executive director of customer relations at KHDA, said.
“There were many complaints of violence among students, apart from cases of negligence of student safety and expulsion of students,” he said.
In cases of expulsion, KHDA’s role is to assist schools and parents in resolving any dispute.
However, KHDA does not support action which would disrupt a child’s learning during the school year.
Schools are not permitted to suspend or expel students without authorisation from KHDA.
The complaints dealt with schools following 10 different curricula including the US, the UK, the Ministry of Education, International Baccalaureate, French and Filipino.
Other complaints included high fees charged by schools, refusal of schools to return registration fees, issues with modes of fee payment, and issues with transferring from one school to another.
There were also complaints about lack of bus services to certain areas, and concerns over dropping children home after school.
Police and schools are striving to ensure children are dropped off safely at schools — without endangering students at busy times entering and leaving school gates.
Parents at some schools have complained about been given the wrong information about the start of the academic year, as well as about re-opening of schools despite the school building not being ready yet.
“Out of the 74 complaints, 47 have been resolved,” said Nasser, adding that his department is striving to resolve the remaining issues.
He said that the number of complaints is not unusual as the start of the academic year usually sees a surge in complaints.
Cases of mistreatment of students and parents by the school administration were also received.
Nasser called on parents to make good use of the school inspection reports published by KHDA in choosing the right school for their children.
What happened at a school previously stayed within the confines of its walls, and parents had to judge the performance of schools based on hearsay, he said. “But now, the inspection report gives a comprehensive overview of the school, allowing parents to make informed choices.”