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Dubai school shuts down after violations

School bus in Dubai - illustrative

Illegally raising school fees lands institute in hot water.

July 16, 2013 2:14 by

After breaking a number of educational, labour and health violations, the Dubai American Scientific School will soon shut down its doors for good.

The K-12 private school was rated ‘unacceptable’ by the KHDA, since the academic year 2008-09, and was found to have charged some parents more than twice the amount of fees permitted by the educational authority.

The school failed to investigate more than 30 students with extended periods of unauthorised absence and 20 teachers were illegally appointed without proper approval, offer of employment and even a formal contract. In addition, a number of health and safety violations were also reported. Therefore, the school will no longer operate beyond September 2013.

The Al Qouz-based DASS has been under heavy scrutiny for the past few years and inspection by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

The low rating assigned to the institute meant that – aside from the negative publicity it came with – the school will no longer be able to raise its annual school fees until educational (and other) standards were improved.

Almost a year ago, the school was found guilty of a number of education permit violations, and at the time, it was consequently sanctioned and a directive was issued by the KHDA, preventing it from registering any new students.

In an official statement from the authority, Amal Belhasa, chief of Compliance and Resolution Commission at the KHDA confirmed that, provided all children were guaranteed places at alternative schools, the school will close in the academic year 2013-14.

“Some 244 students have already completed the transfer process to new schools since the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year. We consider [that] parents play a key role in their child’s education and [we] will continue to support parents with children at Dubai American Scientific School to find the best alternative solution,” says Belhasa.

“KHDA is keen to ensure [that] all children have the right to a quality education and we expect all schools and parents to adhere to the guidelines set out in the new parent-school contracts.”

A month ago, the authority announced that both parents and schools would be benefiting from a new legally binding initiative outlining their rights and responsibilities. The ‘school parent contract’ will include refund and admission policies, school fees, attendance and punctuality, as well as health and safety provisions and transportation.

It will also address parental responsibilities, such as, providing schools with accurate medical, psychological and educational assessment records.

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