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Dubai: In some Indian schools, teachers and parents of classmates work together to sponsor the education of children in need. However, not everyone gets to enjoy such a support system.

Gulf News asked prominent Indian schools about what kind of support they offer to students struggling to pay their fees.

E.P. Johnson, president of Sharjah Indian Association that manages Sharjah Indian School, said the school has been grappling with several students defaulting in fees mainly due to job loss or salary delays of their parents.

In the beginning of the academic year in April, the school reported about Dh700,000 in pending tuition fees by more than 150 students, he said.

“We decided to allow the parents to pay 50 per cent of the fees and accepted post-dated cheques for the rest of the fees so that students could continue in the school. We also offered discounts to deserving children after studying the cases. Some of our teachers are also sponsoring some students.”

While parents are trying to make the pending payments, the school is also supporting them by spreading the word among community members and charity organisations who can sponsor the education of such students, said Johnson.

“Business leaders and other community members who wish to do philanthropic activities should seriously consider sponsoring the education of such needy students as education is the only thing that can empower them.”

Gems Education

A spokesperson from Gems Education, which runs the largest network of CBSE schools in the UAE, said the group follows Knowledge and Human Development Authority guidelines and standard protocols under these regulations where the parent-school contract governs matters related to school fees.

“In such cases, we ensure that there is as little disruption as possible to the students’ education. However, this may not be possible in every instance,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“At Gems Education, we provide scholarships and concessions to over 3,500 students. In addition, we have a Gems Cares Programme that provides concessions annually to families that are under financial distress. Furthermore, in extreme cases, where the primary guardian has passed away or is managing critical illness, we have provided completely subsidised education for the children.”

The Indian High School, Dubai

At the Indian High School in Dubai, the largest Indian school in the emirate, several parents are delaying the school fee payments, said Ashok Kumar, CEO of the school.

“We had some cases [of students defaulting on fee payments] last year. However, we sorted them out by March. We handle it on a case-to-case basis and support them depending on how genuine the case is. Right now, we are not facing any problems though there are parents making late payments. Instead of paying on the same month, they are paying later,” he said.