x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

The lawyers get an F

A father has sought – and won – compensation for his son's poor education. What next?

As consumers, we all want satisfaction when we spend money. If a product or service is faulty, we expect a refund - and if the seller won't oblige, then we have recourse to the courts.

But should that mindset apply to the education system? One Dubai father thought so, so he sued his son's private school for failing to educate the child properly.

As The National reported yesterday, a civil court rejected the man's claims that the school had pushed the boy through to Grade 2 despite his low marks, thus inflicting "emotional damage". However, the Dubai Court of Appeal took a different view. After considering evidence from a learning expert, the judges ordered the school to pay Dh77,500 in fees and damages.

Leaving aside the details of the judgment, that the case came to court at all is a sign of litigious times. Certainly, private schools have an obligation to do what they are paid to do, but the prime responsibility for a child's education lies with the parents.

And there is a limit to legal action - which was perhaps reached in Northern California last year, when a father sued a school that punished his son for cheating.