A recent report from Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has detailed that private schools in the emirate earned more than Dh7.5 billion in tuition fees during the current academic year that is about to end. Significantly too, that figure represents an increase of some Dh700 million more than the Dh6.8 billion collected by these institutions in the 2016-1016 academic year.
Putting these figures in perspective, there are currently 194 private schools providing education and learning services to some 281,432 pupils, and 11 new private schools opened last year as enrolment increased by 2.9 per cent. The KHDA report also noted that 53 per cent of students pay less than Dh20,000 in fees, while the average fee for the 2017-2018 academic year was Dh26,285 overall.
For parents, the recent decision by the Dubai Executive Council to freeze fees for the 2018-2019 year is welcome news, and putting all of these elements together, there are clear lessons that can be drawn now.
Given the rise in revenues, it’s clear that schools who are in the business of education are profitable and are running in positive territory, and the freeze in school fees in the emirate is certainly timely and appropriate.
At all times, the key principle must be in providing the best level of education for every child in every classroom at every school. That means investing in highly qualified teaching staff, and paying them levels of salary to keep them in Dubai. Facilities too need to be kept up-to-date with the latest and most appropriate technology — and every effort must be made to sure all our children are given every opportunity to make these the best days of their lives.