Expatriate parents upset over school fee hikes

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A number of expatriate parents are upset over the recent fee hike by some of the private schools in Qatar.

Though the fee hike has been approved by the Supreme Education Council (SEC), the aggrieved parents feel the quantum of increase is ‘unjustified’ and there is ‘hardly any improvement’ in the quality of services received.

The SEC had approved a fee hike in the range of 2% to 10% for select schools.

While Indian schools which got the sanction had implemented the hike from April this year, when the new academic year began, the international schools started charging the increased fee from this month so as to coincide with their academic year’s commencement.

The decision by the Indian schools to levy the increased fee with retrospective effect from April has outraged a considerable number of parents, who felt it should be made mandatory on the schools to announce the fee hike, if any, at the beginning of the academic year.

As the new academic session started and as several parents returned from vacation, many of them were greeted with circulars from their children’s schools informing of the increase in the fees. It was a bolt from the blue for many, especially the middle income ones, as some schools increased tuition fee as well as the transportation fee by 10%.

An enraged parent felt that the schools are exploiting the helplessness of the parents and upsetting their family budget.

“The SEC needs to interfere in this issue. They should not allow the schools to increase the fee in the middle of the academic year. If the schools plan to increase the fees, they should announce it well in advance. If the SEC is giving permission in the middle of the academic year, the schools should collect the increase only from the date of announcement and not in retrospective. If not, they should wait for the next academic year,” he said.

The parent observed that schools are citing various reasons such as operational cost and other liabilities to justify the fee hike. “However, the teachers’ salary still remains very low in Indian schools. So what is the justification in the increase of the fees?”

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“The government statistics point out that the inflation has come down in the country and the prices are stable. So the claim that operational costs are increasing cannot be accepted. The schools are just finding feeble excuses to increase the fees,” another parent said.

Read full article by Joseph Varghese on Gulf Times

Related : Compare the fees for Indian schools in Doha

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