Dubai: Over 40 parents on Monday gathered at Dubai Scholars School over prices and items in new school uniform packages.
The new school uniform package for the forthcoming academic year costs Dh765 for grades one to six, said a May 23 circular. It costs Dh1,000 with an optional schoolbag and a pair of shoes.
A number of parents complained they had previously paid much less, about half in some cases.
A May 13 circular had said new uniforms had been outsourced and parents were initially asked to pay Dh1,000 for the package, including the bag and shoes, by May 26.
However, the May 23 circular said the new fees “may be paid by June 25” and pointed out that the bag and shoes were optional. The circulars said that a sample of the new uniform would be displayed on “report card days”.
But not every parent was relieved at the development.
A letter from a self-styled “parents forum” read “We the parents feel the price is unjust and request the school to please… show the sample of the uniform by 30th May 2013… provide a list of approved suppliers.”
“One word: transparency. We’re here today to ask the management to talk to us openly and listen to us openly,” an Indian father told Gulf News.
“This is a big jump. I feel the school has a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude. Let’s talk about this first,” a woman added.
The school has been rated “Good” for the past three academic years by the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
A representative of the school said that the new uniforms were part of wider reviews to excel.
The representative added that many versions of the school uniform had emerged over time, some as “unauthorised copies”.
“Therefore the school, after careful consideration, has decided to improve the school uniform for the 2013/2014 year from both a design and material perspective.
“It must be clearly understood that Dubai Scholars is not increasing prices for its existing school uniforms. This is a completely new uniform, and has been designed to be representative of the school, its history and its ambitions to be a premier school in Dubai.”
The representative added that the new uniform pricing was “very competitive for the quality and quantity to be supplied”.
“There have been some complaints from a vocal minority, which is inevitable, and Dubai Scholars have listened to those and is proactively working on a solution to address those concerns where possible.
“This includes re-negotiating supplier prices and may also include some fabric redesigns as well. Dubai Scholars will update parents as soon as those are completed.
“All of the school’s policies and procedures are carefully considered and comply with all mandatory KHDA and/or other regulatory body requirements.”
A comment from KHDA on the school’s new uniform outsourcing and pricing issue was not immediately available.