Parents complain about Dh500 graduation ceremony fee

Parents complain about Dh500 graduation ceremony fee
Photo for illustrative purpose only

Abu Dhabi - Parents of children in Grade 10 are being asked to pay Dh295 for the "event fees" and an additional Dh150 for the class photo



By Sarwat Nasir

Published: Tue 22 May 2018, 8:57 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 May 2018, 11:12 PM

Several parents have expressed outrage after being asked to pay nearly Dh500 for their child's graduation ceremony, by their Abu Dhabi-based school.
The Philippine Global School in Abu Dhabi sent out a circular to parents with children in Grade 6, asking them to pay Dh495 for the graduation ceremony, which includes the cap and gown, venue, certificate and yearbook costs. Additionally, the school is also asking parents to pay an additional Dh150 for their child's class photo.
Parents of children in Grade 10 are also being asked to pay for their child's graduation ceremony - a total of Dh295 for the "event fees" and an additional Dh150 for the class photo.
The UAE Ministry of Education has banned public and private schools from charging parents any fees for graduation ceremonies and holding the event outside of school campus, as Khaleej Times reported previously.
The move was implemented to ensure parents are not overburdened by excessive financial commitments. Khaleej Times has also acquired an official circular by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) that was sent out to principals of all schools under Adek, notifying them that they must "bear all expenses of the ceremony".
"As the event is an educational one and conducting it in hotels will de-mean it of its educational value, all private schools are requested to conduct the graduation ceremonies (diplomas/certificate distribution) in schools or other cultural scientific institutions that belong to the public or private school sector, after obtaining the required permissions and approvals.
"However, if the school wishes to run such an event in a hotel, they must bear all the expenses of the ceremony and to officially communicate this to parents and Adek. Schools are also requested to sign an undertaking to be sent to the licensing and accreditation division declaring that," the letter said.
The Philippine Global School is holding their 10th grade graduation cere-mony on the school campus and the 6th grade one at Abu Dhabi University, but is charging parents for both. "We cannot pay that much for the graduation ceremony," one parent, who chooses to remain unidentified, said. "How can they ask us pay the cost for the venue, the yearbook and the gown? And they're charging us for another class photo separately."
Another parent said that her child might miss the graduation ceremony because of the fees. "There was no parent-school contract that mentioned anything about having to pay for these things. The ministry has also banned it, so why are they charging us? It might be affordable to some, but for many of us, a few hundred dirhams means a lot," the parent said.
Khaleej Times contacted the school and the spokesperson, who claimed to be the principal, stated that "it's up to the parents if they want to pay".
sarwat@khaleejtimes.com


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