Dubai : Parents of school going students in Dubai are calling upon the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) to intervene with educational institutions to drop tuition fees and waive next year’s enrolment fees.
Scores of parents have written letters to KHDA, responsible for overseeing private education in Dubai, and to their children’s schools’ regarding the matter.
Gulf News contacted KHDA. A spokesperson said: “As noted earlier, all fee-related updates are available on https://www.khda.gov.ae/en/safetyatschools. Please refer to the information available on this platform.”
In a list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’, the KHDA said, “Schools are continuing to operate and provide education to students, though we also understand that many families are in a difficult financial situation. In these uncertain times, payment of school fees will need compromise from both schools and parents.”
Parents have however expressed concerns over next term’s fees as UAE schools have adopted distance learning and also in light of the grim financial situation many parents are facing.
Take a look at what some of them said.
Pakistani father Faisal Nasser, whose child studies in Grade 9 at a British curriculum school said he is in a tight financial situation currently. Faisal runs a transportation business in Dubai and company transactions have come to a stand-still owing to the COVID-19 coronavirus situation in UAE.
“My company offers limousine services hotels and companies. They have all asked me to stop delivering as they do not have any customers to deal with. My business has fallen and this is reflecting on my personal financial situation. I have to feed my family and right now we are living off from the savings I have made. In short, I am asking the regulator to do the needful and help parents like me in distress. It is the need of the hour.”
“Parents will struggle to pay fees if schools don’t drop rates.”
Indian mother of two school going children (10 and 8 years) at another British IGCC curriculum school, Anuvi Gupta, is in a similar situation. She is a real estate consultant and there has been no transaction she has been able to conclude. “I work on a commission basis. With lock-down issues, I have not been able to step out for work. How can I bring any money home?”
Not just that, her husband Vaibhav has been asked to take a pay cut from his employer. “Our income has drastically reduced. There is no way we will be able to pay such high fees.”
Anuvi has sent an email to KHDA and has been in touch with her children’s school on the matter.
Another Indian father, Prakash I, an IT and marketing consultant with his own business in Dubai said his company is facing a 50 per cent cost reduction. His child, 14 years of age studies in Grade 9 of a Dubai school. Prakash said: “This will directly reflect my personal situation and this means affordability for my family and me will drop drastically. While we appreciate the UAE government taking all necessary steps to curtail the COVID-19 situation in the country. They have also taken measures to give relief to residents and consumers here. The education sector also needs to do the needful.”