Dubai: Teachers hopeful of salary increase as private schools get fee hike approval

While some tutors are expecting a pay raise, others are not so hopeful


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sat 11 Mar 2023, 2:48 PM

Last updated: Sat 11 Mar 2023, 5:10 PM

School teachers have given mixed reactions to the school fee increase that was approved by authorities on Friday. Many hope that the hike will translate into a pay raise for them.

“The last time we got a pay raise was in 2018 when fees in our school were raised last,” said H.J., a teacher at one of the oldest Indian schools in the country. “I have been working for ten years now and I have noticed that usually, when fees are raised our salaries are increased as well. There was one time when we did not get a raise, but that was an exception and not a norm.”

According to H.J., right now management are talking about increasing teacher’s salaries by around 2-3 per cent. “There are talks going around,” she said. “However, I am in a Catch 22 situation because my child’s school fees will also increase. So I am just hoping for the best.”

According to Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), private schools in the city will be eligible for a 3 per cent increase in tuition fees for the 2023-24 academic year, based on their ratings.

S.E, a teacher at an American school in the city said she was hoping for an increase but doubted if it would come through. “I have been working in the school for only two years,” she said. “Also, our rating isn’t very high so my colleagues and I have been discussing whether our school will be allowed to raise fees. We will be taking it up with management next week.”

The rate by which schools can increase their fees is tied to each school’s most recent inspection rating from the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau.

Teacher N.J. works in a British school and she said she is reasonably sure she will not get a pay raise. “First of all, our school has been operational only for a few years,” she said. “So I highly doubt if they will give an increase in pay now. Also, I have been working at the school for only 1.5 years. I have colleagues who have worked for more than 5 years and have only received an increase of Dh500. So I am not very hopeful.”

KHDA has stipulated that the approved fee increase takes into account the economic situation of the emirate, as well as the operational costs of running a private school, while maintaining the quality of education.

Schools happy

Meanwhile, school groups have hailed the move saying that it allows them to invest in the infrastructure, allowing staff salary hikes, which will ultimately benefit the school community as a whole. Dino Varkey, Group Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Education said they will be implementing teacher salary increases in April for Indian curriculum schools and in September for international schools.


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