Dubai school group decides not to hike fees despite permission to do so

Some parents receive notifications from private schools about the increase in fees

by

Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sun 26 Mar 2023, 2:03 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Mar 2023, 10:30 PM

Some schools in Dubai have already started notifying parents about the tuition fees increase that will come into effect from the 2023-24 academic year. On the other hand, there are some schools that have informed parents that they will not be increasing their tuition fees.

Indian curriculum schools who commence their new academic year in April have already sent the notification to parents, while other curriculum schools that begin their year later are yet to do so.


This comes as a result of the announcement by the Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), which earlier stated that private schools are eligible for a 3 per cent increase in tuition fees from 2023-24 academic year. Some private schools can even increase fees up to 6 per cent provided they meet certain criteria.

Fee increase intimation

Gems Our Own Indian School in a letter to its parents' states, “I am writing with regard to the education regulator’s recent announcement of tuition fee increase across all private schools in the emirate. In line with this directive, Gems Our Own Indian School will be increasing fees by the approved 5.25 per cent. This will apply to all Grades from the start of the 2023-2024 academic year.”


Our Own High School Al Warqa also has also intimated its school community about the same in a recent circular.

A letter signed by Principal Dr Anjuli Murthy says, “I am writing with regard to the education regulator’s recent announcement of tuition fee increase across all private schools in the emirate. In line with this directive, Our Own High School, Al Warqa’a, Dubai will be increasing fees by the approved 3 per cent. This will apply to all Grades from the start of the 2023-2024 academic year in April 2023.”

The circular further states, “As ever we are focused on delivering the highest standards of teaching and learning for our students. This increase will allow us to just that by empowering us to invest further in our teachers, who are the foundations of the quality education we provide. We will be implementing teacher salary increases in April and this will allow us to contribute to attract the very best educators.”

Dino Varkey, Group Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Education had earlier said, “The decision by KHDA to increase school fees for the academic year 2023-24 empowers us to invest further in our teachers and facilities, the foundations of quality education for every GEMS Education student. We are pleased to confirm today that we will be implementing teacher salary increases in April for our Indian curriculum schools and in September for our international schools.”

No fee hike in IHS group of schools

Meanwhile, the Indian High Group of Schools (IHS) in a circular to its parents has stated that despite approval from the emirate’s education regulator it will not increase its tuition fees.

The circular that’s signed by the CEO of The Indian High Group of Schools (IHS), Punit MK Vasu, states, “The Indian High Group of Schools remains deeply committed to providing high quality affordable education to all learners at nominal costs. I am therefore delighted today to announce that despite the ever-increasing operational costs, current rates of inflation that are at a record-high across the globe, and the permission from our regulator to increase fees if we choose to do so, your management has decided not to increase tuition fees for the academic year 2023-2024.”

The letter further states, “We are - exactly as we did last year- yet again choosing to keep school tuition fees as is this year too and maintaining status quo. As a community group of schools, we empathise with the financial challenges that some of our parents are facing. We strongly believe it is imperative to support all our stakeholders in ensuring they have continual access to world class learning without having to face the added pressure of an increase in tuition fees.”

IHS parents hail the move

IHS parents are elated at the decision and opine that they are glad that the school authorities have taken into considerations the situation of all their stakeholders.

Mother of Grade 5 student, Sania Banu, whose daughter goes to IHS Oud Metha says, “we are grateful to the school for the decision that they have taken in the parents’ favour. We know that inflation has been scaling the cost of living. Rents have increased and so have our grocery bills. But the fact that the school has taken our perspective into consideration is commendable. We truly hail this decision by the school management. Among the parent community we all share similar sentiments about this.”

She adds, “The school has been striving to provide quality education at a reasonable cost and as parents we truly appreciate this gesture.”

Dubai has seen the opening of 22 new schools in the last three years, bringing the total number of private schools in Dubai to 216.

Another parent, Aamir Asif, whose daughter is in Grade 10 at IHS, says, “We’ve just moved from India to the UAE. I am still establishing my business here. This definitely comes as a respite for all parents. While we understand that operational costs all across have increased including the prices of school uniforms… this move by the school authorities is certainly praiseworthy… more so because many families are still reeling under the economic impact of Covid-19. This is one of the best pieces of news that I have heard so far during the holy month of Ramadan.”

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