Bus fee hike in GEMS schools

GEMS Parents burdened by 10 per cent increase in bus fee

16 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.

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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

18 April 2013 12:45jump to comments
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