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Parents Resent School Fee Hike

Staff Reporter
Filed on January 31, 2009

DUBAI - Hundreds of parents met Dubai Modern High School principal on Thursday to object to the “exorbitant” fee hike which, the management said, is due to shifting the school to the new premises as the rent of the current premises has been hiked steeply.

Parents of children who study in Dubai Modern High School gather outside the school campus- KT Photos by Juidin BernarrdThe parents gathered in the school’s parking lot in the morning and then moved into the auditorium where they met principal Darryl Bloud.

Bloud assured them that he would take up the issues raised by them with the chairman of GEMS that runs the school.

The parents raised the issue of fee hike, the time of its announcement and the difficulty of shifting the students from the school as no other school in Dubai has ICSE syllabus.

A statement issued by Dino Varkey, senior director of Business Development, GEMS, said the school is faced with a difficult choice — a closure of the school or a costly relocation so that it may remain open.

one of the parents makes a point as others look on. —KT Photos by Juidin BernarrdAs reported earlier by Khaleej Times, Bloud had said the management was forced to shift the school to new premises due to an increase in the rent of the present location.

“We are paying Dh15 million as rent at the moment. The chairman has assured that the new campus will not be any ordinary premises but will have all facilities for the students. Besides, we have other expenses, including teachers’ salaries, and their wellbeing that needed to be taken into consideration,” said Bloud.

New School Premises

The new school premises were built at a cost of Dh240 million.

A circular signed by Dino Varkey was also handed to the parents, showing a per student tuition fee against the operation costs from 2004-2008.

However, parents were unimpressed. “The fact that so many parents are here on a working day shows the magnitude of the situation,” said Dipen Mehta, father of a student.

Parents say GEMS announced the fee hike at a strategic time, taking advantage of being a monopoly.

“Most schools have closed admissions. At this point, we are helpless and are at the mercy of the management. Also, this is the only ICSE school in Dubai,” said a worried father.

“What are we paying this price for? I do not want the added facilities. I would want the quality of education to improve with the added cost but that doesn’t seem to be happening,” said Manisha K., mother of three students of the school, said.

“When the government is trying to regulate hike in prices of food and rents, I think there needs to be some sort of regulation in education as well,” another parent, who did not give his name, said.

The school management informed the parents that the Knowledge and Human Development Department (KHDA) has approved a 90 per cent increase in the fees that would be implemented over a two-year period.

However, the total increase works out to be higher if one goes by the circular on the fee structure sent to parents.

According to that, the fees would be hiked by 45 per cent in 2009-2010 academic year.

In 2010-2011, there would be another 45 per cent increase in the revised fees of 2009-2010, making it almost a 110 per cent hike from the current fees.

· news@khaleejtimes.com


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