39 Abu Dhabi schools approved for fee hikes
ABU DHABI // Education chiefs have rejected bids by 43 private schools to increase their fees.
Adec, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, received applications from 82 schools to raise fees for the 2014-2015 academic year, 19 more than applied last year.
They approved 39 – 23 in Abu Dhabi city and 16 in Al Ain – compared with only eight last year.
Adec would not say which schools were given permission to raise fees, or by how much, but the average increase will be 6 per cent.
To qualify for a fee increase schools must meet performance standards measured in annual inspections that grade them as high performing, satisfactory or in need of significant improvement.
They must also show an “improvement of human resources by recruiting quality teachers and focusing on professional development and salaries”, Adec says.
“Investment in the maintenance of school buildings, facilities and extensions compared with the previous year is also part of the criteria.
“In addition, the percentage of Emiratis among the teaching, administrative and technical staff and students is considered.
“The admission of special needs students and the provision of support needed for them is also taken into account.”
Parents paid a total of Dh2.9 billion fees in the 2012-2013 academic year, Adec said.
Nearly half the pupils in the emirate, 49 per cent, attend schools that charge less than Dh10,000 a year. A quarter of parents pay between Dh10,000 and Dh20,000, 15 per cent pay between Dh20,000 and Dh30,000 and 11 per cent pay more than Dh30,000.
Parents had mixed views on the fee increases. Naila Al Hashimi, an Emirati mother with two children, one of them in primary school, said: “Since two or three years ago, I think the tuition fee is really high.
“I don’t know why they have to increase this every year. I’m not sure what are the reasons. It’s not easy for everyone, especially if the fees are already high enough.
“I used to work, and my employer paid the school fees, so I never thought about it, really. But now I’m not working, so we have to pay the extra fees because it’s not fully covered.”
Amal Al Maamari, an Emirati mother of three school-aged children, said the increases were justified if schools could show they were making strides.
“It depends on the school, I think, and the improvement the school is making. Any improvement in the education, in the resources, a bigger library, more books, labs. All I care about is education, that’s my number one priority. So if they are making a big improvement in education, I don’t mind paying the extra fees. It depends how much improvement they are making.”
Updated: May 18, 2014 04:00 AM