Education Gets Pricey

Education, a fundamental right of all children, is not just becoming expensive in the UAE but is also fast becoming a pricey commodity. Quality education is increasingly slipping out of reach for most residents.

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Published: Mon 13 Oct 2008, 9:45 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:08 PM

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (DCCI) revelation on Sunday that more and more expatriates are sending their children back home because they cannot afford to educate them in the UAE should come as no surprise to many. According to the DCCI findings, secondary education costs increased by 25 per cent in 2008 and 15 per cent in 2007, while primary education costs went up by 19 per cent in 2008.

For an emirate witnessing explosive growth compounded with a burgeoning expatriate population, businesses, read private education, have also grown to keep pace. And schooling a child in Dubai can burn a hole, and a deep one too, in a parent’s pocket when compared to sending a child to college, which is still relatively cheaper. An estimated 55,475 students from 43 private schools in Dubai alone were impacted by higher tuition fees this year. A negative growth in the 10 to 19 age group only underscores the fact that families, mostly Asians, are sending their children back to their home countries. Schooling today means also footing a hefty transport bill, after of course coughing up tuition fees, books, uniforms and the likes separately. One of the reasons for the obscene increases could be the skewed demand-and-supply factor in the education sector, reflective in the long admission queues every academic year. Escalating operational costs cited by many schools is another reason.

It is but natural that many, reeling under increasing rents, steep shopping bills, education costs and totally disproportionate rise in income, hope that sending their children home will ease their burden a bit. However, those sending children home will not escape the emotional and psychological cost of such a decision. For living alone, away from one’s loved ones makes demands on one’s emotional well being.

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