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Dubai schools extend freeze on fees for new academic year

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on March 10, 2021
KT Photo: Ryan Lim

Earlier, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) confirmed that schools in the capital will not be allowed to increase fees for the 2021-22 academic year.

Several Dubai schools have extended a freeze on fees for the 2021-22 academic year.

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This comes even as a few other private schools in the emirate have sent circulars to parents with tuition fee hike notices as they qualify under the exceptional fee increase criteria.

On Tuesday, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) confirmed that schools in the capital will not be allowed to increase fees for the 2021-22 academic year.

Alan Williamson, CEO, Taaleem, said, “Our investors are attuned to the economic and national agenda of the UAE. Hence, Taaleem has chosen to freeze tuition fees for the next academic year. Our parents have shown incredible loyalty over the past — very trying — 12 months. Their support has been incredible and we wish to repay this loyalty by not increasing any of our fees for the next year."

He added, “The fee freeze will not affect our planned operations; and there will be no cuts in services to maintain the educational standards for our students, staff and parents.”

Pandemic-triggered uncertainties have also led other school groups to follow similar lines, easing any financial challenges that parents may have faced due to the prevailing situation.

Sangita Chima, principal at Amity School Dubai, confirmed that there were no plans to increase school fees in the new academic year. "Our school is ready for the next normal. A return to on-campus learning with exciting, redefined, super creative learning opportunities is what students can look forward to,” she said.

She added, “As a not-for-profit institution, we are conscious of the current state of the world. Many families in our school community are still in the process of transitioning, and changes we make can cause disruption. We want to continue to create a safe and supportive space for parents and students in our care.”

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) affirmed that school fee increases are based on the Education Cost Index (ECI), which is likely to be announced soon for this year.

Meanwhile, Gems Education — the largest private school operator in the country — said, “GEMS Education schools follow the directives and guidance of the government regulators in all matters concerning tuition fees.

"In Dubai, increases are determined by the Education Cost Index (ECI), and schools are only able to raise fees with approval from KHDA. As such, we will follow the official guidance as and when it is issued,” explained a GEMS Spokesperson.

Exceptional Fee Increase

However, some private schools have sent out circulars to parents stating the increase of tuition fees, as they qualify under the exceptional fee increase criteria.

KHDA’s exceptional fee system, allows private schools to apply for fee increases to assist those whose level of financial status places them at risk of having to close down.

Parents of a Dubai school recently received a circular stating, “Under the Exceptional Fee Increase mechanism, our school has been approved to increase tuition fees by 2.56 per cent in the academic year 2021-2022.

"This increase was originally due to be applied in 2020-2021, as was communicated on July 15, 2019. However, in light of the challenges faced by parents at the time, the decision was made to postpone this increase, which will now come into effect in 2021-2022.”





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