x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Inspections to check book prices

The Ministry of Education says it will carry out inspections in private schools to prevent the fraudulent practice of inflating prices of books.

DUBAI // After receiving complaints from parents who say schools are inflating the prices of textbooks, the Ministry of Education says it will carry out inspections in private schools to prevent the fraudulent practice.

Local education zones in Dubai and the Northern Emirates have been asked to send out circulars to all schools today, warning them against increasing the prices of books for which the ministry had issued a price list. 

"Some parents have reportedly paid between Dh200 and Dh600 for textbooks this year, while the ministry books may cost no more than Dh9," said Shaikha al Shamsi, the chief executive for educational affairs. The ministry will have a procedure in place to ensure prices do not exceed the printed cost, she said. For schools following other curricula with books not issued by the ministry, an increase of not more than 30 per cent is allowed.

One mother, Hind al Mehairi, whose children attend a private school in Dubai, said there has been an increase in textbook costs this year. "The school follows an American curriculum, but textbooks in Arabic, Islamic and National Studies subjects are prescribed by the ministry." "At the beginning of the year, the school provides the entire set of books for the grade and there is no breakdown to determine whether they are complying with the published prices," she said.

aahmed@thenational.ae