The UAE is planning to enact legislation to control random tuition fee increases by private schools to give priority to quality teaching and end malpractices in the education sector in the second largest Arab economy.
The Ministry of Education said it was working on new regulations which follow local poll results showing more than half the parents are not satisfied with the present tuition fees and the steady rise in education costs.
A study in this respect will be completed shortly before the new rules are approved by the Minister of Education, the Ministry’s acting undersecretary Ali Al Suwaidi, told the semi official Arabic language daily Alittihad.
He said the new law would allow private schools to raise fees but added any increase will be determined according to the school level and its achievements.
“Schools will be authorized to raise their fees without exaggeration…for example, a school which has better premises and recreational facilities might believe it should be given priority in fee increases,” he said.
“Another school which has modest premises and recreational facilities but offers high-level academic services might believe it should be given priority…all this will be determined by the Ministry when it receives applications for fee increases.”
Suwaidi said the new rules would be like a “balance” which will be fair to every school according to its achievements and level.
Alittihad said the new regulations follow an opinion poll conducted by the Ministry in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, showing that nearly 52.5 per cent of parents are not satisfied with the present tuition fee system in private schools.
“The survey showed the current fees are exaggerated and that the present regulations by the Ministry of Education need to be revised,” it said.
It said the present rules allow private schools in the UAE to raise their fees by five to 10 per cent once a year, 10-20 per cent once every two years and 20-30 per cent every three years.