Friday, May 27, 2005

Schools collecting fees in advance ‘face action’ :: Khaleej Times

DUBAI — Private schools collecting tuition fees a few months ahead of the new academic year will be dealt with strictly, according to Juma Al Salami, Assistant Undersecretary for Private Education at the Ministry of Education.

“The Ministry bylaws stipulate that fees in full, or, in instalments, should be paid by parents about a month prior to resumption of school for the new academic year. Besides, the registration and tuition fees in full, or, in monthly, or, quarterly instalments, can be paid upto a day before the commencement of class in the new academic year,” Al Salami said.

“The practice of charging advance fees to ensure a seat for the student in the new year exists in several private schools backed by powerful sponsors. But, we want to alert them that the practice is a violation of the Ministry's bylaws resulting in strict action against them.”

What's wrong with asking for earnest money? If the parents do not trust the school, then why are they sending their children there? There should be a price to pay for retaining the ability to change schools at the last minute because schools must make commitments in advance to teachers to ensure they have the number required for the start of school. The school could arrange a system where a well known bank administered the earnest money fund, removing the hazard that the school take the money and run.
On the other hand, to say that the tuition need not be paid until the day of commencement puts the schools in a difficult position. How do the schools enforce this contract without facing negative publicity brought about by parents' failure to pay? There have been such incidents as reported here and here. Frankly, I presume we've only heard the parents' side of the story in these cases. Sorry, parents, you need to take some responsibility for putting your children in this predicament.



Blogger Keefieboy said...

Wow. The Min of Ed has actually made a statement that I support! This practice of demanding at least one term's money upfront to secure a place has been going on for as long as I have been here. And we are talking about very well-known and highly regarded institutions.

I know one guy who had 2 kids. The eldest was already attending the school in question, the youngest was due to join in September. The fees were paid in May, my friend lost his job in June, and the whole family shipped out back to England in July. Refund? Not on your nellie.

5:05 PM  

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