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For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: UAE school group Al Najah Education on Tuesday announced a 20 per cent reduction in school fees at its Horizon English School and Horizon International School “to help families through the hard times that lie ahead”.

The group said in a statement that it is “the first in the UAE to offer a relief plan to parents”, which will apply to all Year-groups for term three of the 2019/2020 academic year.

The statement follows Monday’s UAE government announcement that the two-week e-learning phase has been extended until the end of the current academic year, until June. All UAE schools have closed campuses and switched to e-learning to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Raza Khan, CEO of Al Najah Education, said: “Our success as a company is built on strong foundations of community spirit and a ‘child first’ approach – and in unprecedented times, communities need to pull together. With the discount, we are doing our part to help families through the hard times that lie ahead.”

He added: “Our schools will also make changes to the e-learning system to help parents cope with a longer distance learning period. This is a marathon now, not a sprint. We will make sure all the students catch up on lost learning when schools reopen, with extended classes and blended learning.”

Principals at the two schools also said the move on reducing fees comes as a community support during the “unprecedented time”.

“Horizon English School maintains a child-centered teaching approach during this unprecedented time. Our teachers continue to provide an outstanding e-learning experience to all our students, and are fully equipped to continue this until the end of this academic year. We believe that this is the time that the community needs to come together and support each other in any and all ways possible,” said head-teacher Ian Wallace.

“We remain committed to providing an e-learning programme to all of our students which is synonymous with the high standards at Horizon International School. This supportive plan will offer some relief to our parents and students in these unprecedented circumstances. Our staff are to be commended for their exceptional contributions to date, as well our parents for their dedication and adaptability during this time. All efforts are now focused to ensure we channel all our energies into maintaining a positive and successful end to this academic year,” said principal Darren Gale.

Al Najah Education Limited is an educational asset management company.

Since inception in 2012, Al Najah Education says it has experienced “exponential growth”, starting from three educational “assets” in 2013 and expanding to 48 assets in 2018, catering to around 16,000 students across all its operating regions.

Transportation fees waived

Meanwhile, PACE Education Group on Tuesday announced the waiver of school transport fee as a relief to parents.

PACE Education Group which operates six schools across the emirates in a statement said the management had instructed the schools to waive the transport fees for the three months of April, May and June 2020.

Dr P.A.Ibrahim, group chairman, said the initiative would reduce the burden on parents.

The group said it has made considerable investments in scaling up its IT infrastructure, online learning content and setting up unique student-teacher platformd for blended learning that includes daily video lessons, discussion forums, project activities, task and self-paced learning.