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Better schools to be allowed bigger fee hikes

Better schools to be allowed bigger fee hikes

Government guidelines mean Dubai schools must make the grade if they want to raise their prices.

March 19, 2009 4:16 by

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai has announced a new system to regulate school tuition fees for the academic year 2009-2010. The fee increases will be based on the schools’ overall performance.

According to the authority, assessment of the schools’ overall performance will include “students’ progress, personal and social development, teaching and learning, curriculum and school leadership.” After assessment, the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) will categorize schools as “unsatisfactory,” “acceptable,” “good” and “outstanding.”

Outstanding schools can raise their fee by 15 percent while the good and acceptable schools can have an increase of 12 and 9 percent respectively. As for unsatisfactory schools, they may only have an increase of 7 percent.

Indian and Pakistani schools will be excluded from DSIB’s evaluation this year as they follow a different curriculum. They will only be allowed maximum 10 percent raise.

“The system will be evaluated by the end of the upcoming academic year and shall be fine-tuned to serve stakeholders better. It is a positive step towards granting schools the opportunity to make their own decisions,” says Mohammed Darwish, KHDA’s chief of Licensing and Customer Relations, according to Arabian Business

A recent research by the KDHA showed that more than 50 percent of parents spent up to 15 percent of their monthly income on education, and another 30 percent said they spent more than 15 percent.

Recently, several parents of children studying in the Dubai Modern High School created uproar after the school hiked up its tuition fee by 90 percent. The school, managed by Global Education School Managements (GEMS) said that the fee hike was imposed because it was shifting to a new bigger campus this year. Despite parents’ demanding that the hike be spread out over more years, GEMS has been adamant on its stand.

Will the new system of fee regulation, help prevent sharp increases such as this? And with tuition fee hikes directly linked to performance, will the quality of schools improve?

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