Posted on May 08, 2015

The Supreme Education Council (SEC) has rejected about 50 percent of the applications from private schools and kindergartens seeking permission to increase their fees in the next academic year because the reasons cited for the hike were not genuine, a senior official has disclosed. The remaining schools that have sought approval have been allowed to increase their fees by two to six percent, according to Hamad Al Ghali Al Merri, Director of the Private Schools Office at SEC.

Only one school has got approval to increase the fees by six percent while another has been allowed a five percent hike. The approved increase for other schools is between two and four percent, a local Arabic daily quoted Al Ghali as saying. Fifty percent of the applications have been rejected because the supportive documents submitted by the schools didn’t show that a hike was necessary. All schools seeking approval for fee hike are required to submit their financial reports and other related documents explaining the reasons for hike.

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He said their applications didn’t show that the schools incurred financial losses or are going to add new facilities like laboratories and more class rooms. “The increase approved by the SEC is minimal and that was to help the schools overcome their financial losses,” said Al Ghali. “Fee hikes are based on the financial situation of the school. No school can increase the fees without SEC approval,” he added. The SEC has tied up with an international agency to assess the financial reports of schools to decide whether a fee hike is necessary for them to continue functioning. 

“The approval is given after a long process to make sure the school really deserve the hike,” said Al Ghali. The assessment is also based on the performance of the school and the quality of education. This will encourage the schools to improve their standards, he added. He claimed that such restrictions are to protect the interests of students and parents. Al Ghali warned the schools of stern action if they impose any fee hike unilaterally without an approval from the SEC.

“I challenge anyone to prove that any private school has increased the fees without SEC approval. In case this has happened we will correct the situation in a week and if the school is not ready to do that it will face punishment including a cancellation of licence,” said Al Ghali.