x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

KHDA moves to clear up confusion over fees

The highest increase will be allotted to schools that fared the best during inspections.

DUBAI // The Knowledge and Human Development Authority has moved to assure parents at five Gems schools that they will face no further fee increases this year.

The confusion arose after the KHDA last month allowed private schools to raise fees between 3 and 6 per cent, based on an educational cost index and their rankings from annual inspections.

The highest increase will be allotted to schools that fared the best during inspections.

Gems, the largest education provider in the country, had already been allowed a 30 per cent fee increase over three years by the Ministry of Education in 2010, despite a fee freeze imposed by the KHDA.

Our Own English High School-Al Warqa, Our Own High School-Al Warqa, Our Own Indian School-Al Quoz, The Millennium School in Al Qusais and The Kindergarten Starters in Al Garhoud have already increased their fees by up to 10 per cent for the 2012-2013 academic year as part of the ministry contract.

Several parents have been confused about the fee increase in these schools and whether they will face another rise.

"Why is the hike not in line with the KHDA framework?" asked one parent of The Millennium School.

The mother said she was paying 8 per cent more on the fees this year.

If Millennium, which received a rating of "Good", were to follow the new framework, it would be allowed a 4.5 per cent increase this year instead.

Another parent said he was worried the school would ask for another hike.

"I need to know whether the KHDA will allow them to increase again after we have already paid an increased amount," he said.

Mohammed Darwish, the chief of the Regulations and Compliance Commission at the KHDA, said parents could be assured that the new fee framework would not apply to those schools this year.

All five schools will be barred from applying for the increase because of the agreement they reached with the ministry.

aahmed@thenational.ae