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48 private schools in Sharjah get nod to hike fees for 2015-16

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Sharjah — The Sharjah Education Zone has granted permission to 48 private schools to hike fees for the academic year 2015-2016. The fees will be hiked between 3 and 10 per cent based on the standards of the quality of education provided.

Top official at the Private Education Department in Sharjah, said they formed a committee to review the requests by schools for hike in fees. The committee ruled that 48 schools deserved to increase the fees for this academic year by not more than 10 per cent. “Only two schools were denied the right to hike the fees, as their fees is already high compared to the general average and they failed to provide any ‘logical reasons’ to hike fees.

The schools which received the approval will notify the parents of the students. “These schools include those that follow Indian, Pakistani, American and British curriculums. The number of schools that requested fee hike this year decreased to 50 as compared to last year when 60 schools submitted their request.

The committee visited the schools which requested the fee hike to ensure that set standards were being followed in the education process. The approved hikes were based on the standards issued by the Ministry of Education.

The committee will continue visiting these schools to ensure that they are abiding by the standards and rules that made them eligible for the hike.

The education department warned that they would issue hefty fines against schools that hike fees without obtaining permission from the Sharjah Education Zone.

Ministry decree

Official from the Ministry of Education said that education zones follow the ministry’s rules. In July 2008, the education ministry issued ministerial decree to allow the schools increase the fees annually.

He said that the decree aimed at protecting the rights of parents who seek quality education and the schools that need hikes to provide such type of education. This law has contributed in solving the continuous dispute between parents and private schools on increasing fees.”

He added that in case the school did not increase fees for two consecutive academic years, then the increase should be 10 to 20 per cent and if there has been no increase for three years, the hike can range between 20 and 30 per cent.

Parents urged ministry to amend 2008 decree  

Parents in Sharjah called on the Ministry of Education to review the decree issued on 2008 — issued by its former minister Haneef Hassan Ali. The amended decree allows privates schools to hike the fees annually up to 30 per cent.

The parents said that this decree didn’t consider the rising cost of living and the static annual income of parents.

Awatif Hamid, a parent based in Sharjah said her children study at Al Shu’lla high school, the fees is getting hiked every year while our income remains as it is. Another problem is also the constant rise in rent and in the basic needs of living.

The schools have the right to increase the fees but not annually and there must be a cap of between 3 and 10 per cent.

Umm Hanni, a mother of two student in Al Marrifa school said that the school hiked the fees by not more than 10 percent by she is not yet receive the hiking letter, but she expected it. The ministry must study the financial situation of parents and also consider the rising of cost of living with stagnant income of parents.

Janzeeb Khan, whose children go to schools that follow CBSE curriculum, said that he received a letter from the school about the increase this year by 10 per cent. He said he is a salesman and his salary is not increasing. If they increase the fees again next year, he would have to send his kids back to his homecountry Pakistan.

Jamali Santio, said: “Income does not increase every year, so I request the education department not to approve fee hikes for schools that hiked the fees last year.”

Syndia Thomas, said that her children go to an Indian school in Sharjah, said: “The fees must be hiked every three years and should not go above 10 per cent.”

One worried parent reported: “The Progressive English School in Sharjah suddenly increased the fees by 40% after completing one month of academic year and is collecting re-registraion fee from each student.”

Many parents plan to send children back home

Many parents reported that they are planning to send their children back to their homecountry due to continuous rise of school fees here.

“This is going to be very difficult for us so we decided to send our children back home in Sudan,” said a parent, Fatiam. “We work in the private sector and we never get a hike in our income. So it’s going to be very difficult to pay more fees every year,” she added


Many teachers at private schools in Sharjah told  that their schools hike the fees for students every year, but they don’t get any kind of salary hike. They said school management makes more profit and never considers the situation of the parents.

They urged ministry to issue laws forcing schools to increase staff salaries if they increase school fees annually.

School management

Shahrazad Hawarnah, Headmistress of Al Estiqlal private school in Sharjah, said that since last three years they didn’t request for fee hike because she wants to make her school affordable for all. She said some schools get permission every year for hiking the fees, but they will loose a lot of students, because when parents fail to pay they will go or affordable schools or send their children back home. “Hiking fees every year is not logical at all” she said the fees in her school is affordable and at the same time her school is among the best in the emirate. “We only charge  Dh3,600 for KG1 and KG2 students, while the schools that request the hikes charges minimum Dh8,000 for KG1.

Principal of an American school, on the condition of anonymity, said that he received permission for hiking fees by 8 percent. This was because his school provided quality education, is equipped with technology to support education process and has international staff who demand high salary.

Another official at a private school in Sharjah said last year the education department permitted them to increase fees by just two per cent which was very low compared to the quality of education the school is providing, along with the high salary of the staff. So this year he applied for another hike and received the approval of hiking fees by only 5 per cent, which he said was still low and this way  the school would not be able to make any profit.


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