Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

KHDA's school fee cap makes sense

Education is too important to let private schools run it like any other business.

Parents may soon breath a sigh of relief as Dubai's school authority clamps down on rising education costs. As we report today, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has sent a letter to private schools questioning an anticipated increase in yearly fees. "We are asking school owners one simple question," the letter reads. "Do you really need a fee increase at a time when inflation is low and almost all other costs have dropped too?"

Because the increase must be approved by the KHDA, it seems as if this round of hikes - one of many these past years - may be stopped before it is even proposed. Expect a fight, however. Last year, the KHDA stepped up its regulation of private schools by launching inspections and linking fee increases to school performance. This has caused no small headache for school administrators, particularly in schools that need more money to improve standards and to meet the new benchmarks.

Dubai, and the UAE in general, has a difficult task regulating this diverse network of private schools. It does not make sense for the Government to assume full responsibility for the education of children of expatriates, many of whom are transient guests in the country. But education is too important to let private schools run it like any other business. All the more reason for the KHDA's involvement, especially in light of efforts to reform the educational system. Dubai's education strategy for 2010-2020 calls for no less than a school system that meets the highest international standards.

Such ambitions require support. School fees can decide who has access to education and who is denied. If the country is to come into its own, particularly as a knowledge-based economy, the basic building blocks of science, maths and the liberal arts must not be restricted by unnecessarily high fees. "All of us must equally share the enormous responsibility to make sure that the children of Dubai do not have their education disrupted because of the economic downturn," the KHDA tells schools. We give that statement top marks.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National