The Supreme Education Council (SEC) has forced a leading private school to refund a huge amount of ‘special fee’ it collected from students at the beginning of the new academic year, The Peninsula newspaper has reported.
The MES Indian School, the largest expatriate school in the country, has issued a circular to the parents informing them of the refund. The school started its new academic year last month.
The special fee collected by the school at an average of QR200 per student will amount to millions considering the large number of students on its rolls. The fee was higher in higher classes. The school has been collecting this fee for several years continuously.
SEC had earlier asked the school to stop further admissions saying the number of its students had reached 10,476, almost double the permitted capacity of 5,400.
A senior official of the school told The Peninsula daily yesterday that the fee has been refunded because the SEC has denied permission to charge the fee this year. “The Supreme Education Council has cancelled the permission for some reasons. We are planning to request the SEC seeking a revision of the decision,” said the official.
Interestingly, a circular issued by the school in September last year on the revised free structure approved by the SEC does not include special fees. This circular is still available on the school’s website.
As per SEC rules, no private school is allowed to impose any fee without its approval. The students and parents should be properly informed about the full fee structure.
The Peninsula reports that like MES, several other Indian schools have also collected ‘special fees’ from students this academic year but none of them has informed the parents about a refund until now. Special fee is still mentioned in the fee structure posted on their websites and in some schools they are much higher compared to the MES.
For instance, the Birla Public School (BPS) is charging special fees ranging from QR400 to QR1,500 while the DPS Modern Indian School is charging QR500 to QR1,000.
Similarly last month SEC had forced a school to cancel its decision to impose re-registration fees.