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No 40% hike in fees for Sharjah school: MoE

No 40% hike in fees for Sharjah school: MoE

Parents claim they are being forced by school to sign letter agreeing to 20% increase



By Afkar Abdullah/principal Correspondent

Published: Tue 23 Jun 2015, 12:47 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:51 PM

Progressive English School, Sharjah, won’t be able to hike fees till it improves standards. — Supplied photo

Sharjah - Parents of children studying in Progressive English School in Sharjah expressed relief as the Ministry of Education (MoE) cancelled the approval the school was granted to hike fees by 40 per cent.

The action came following a report published by Khaleej Times on June 4 about a protest 300 parents held on the school’s premises against the hike.

A senior official from the MoE said the approval has been cancelled and the school can’t increase fees “until more facilities are provided to students”. After the school improves standards, it must apply for another fee hike from the Sharjah Education Zone, said the official.

Parents had expressed disappointment over the ministry’s approval to hike fees by 40 per cent, saying it is in violation of a law the ministry had issued in 2008, capping fee hikes to 30 per cent.

After the cancellation of the approval came, parents told KT that they appreciate the ministry’s efforts in addressing their concerns.

Another fee hike?

Some parents said the school’s management made them sign letters, which let them hike school fees by 20 per cent “without approval from the department concerned”.

Naasi, the father of a KG student at the school, said: “Last Thursday, during the open house day, the school management was insisting that parents sign on the backside of a letter addressed to the Sharjah Education Zone prepared by the school seeking approval to hike fees by 20 per cent. Teachers told us that the school would have to be closed in September otherwise.”

Prince, the father of another student, said the school management is “threatening” them to sign the letter. He claimed the school management told parents that the children would “face consequences” for failure to sign letter.

Hameed, another parent, said: “The (school) management claims their fees are the lowest, but there are many schools which charge lesser fees and offer better facilities. The management didn’t build a new building like they promised. Because this building is not there, parents have to send their children to school in two shifts./

“Due to lack of classrooms, in some cases, two subjects are taught in a single classroom. Without improving facilities, the school doesn’t have the right to increase the fees.”

Joan, another parent, said three of her children are studying in the school. “The school prepared the letter on behalf of the parents requesting the ministry to reduce the fee hike to 20 per cent (from the requested 40 per cent). We did not sign the letter, but I heard from other parents that the teachers were threatening the parents to sign it.”

School responds

Dr A.S. Judson, managing director of the school, confirmed that the approval has been cancelled. “I had submitted a letter to the MoE and the Sharjah Education zone (SEZ) requesting them to allow us to hike the fees by 20 per cent. We have not received any reply yet.

“We prepared a letter on behalf of parents willing to pay 20 per cent hike in fees so as to take it to the authorities concerned.”

Of the 1,300 parents who attended the open house, 1,000 reportedly signed the letter.

afkarali@khaleejtimes.com


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