The private schools in the Kingdom, it seems, is coming up with elaborate new ways in order for the parents to keep pouring in money to cover the increases made in fees by the Ministry of Education. Schools are now charging the parents of the students for services which do not require any approval from the ministry which include a file opening fee of SAR 500 TO SAR 1000. Other extravagant fees devised by the schools also include fee for school uniforms of SAR 2000, SAR 3000- SAR 4000 for transportation charges, varying according to distance and a fee of SAR 1100 to SAR 2500 for the text books.
The manager of the foreign education at the Education Department in Jeddah, Sameer Al Hakeem has stated that these additional costs set up by the school total up to around 50 percent of the total fee of the student’s education. Some of the schools announce a fee of SAR 10,000 however after enrollment they charge up to SAR 5000 in the form of such fees. The chairman of the private and international schools committee in the JCCI (Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Malik Ghazi Taleb has stated that the schools should not be charging their students for transportation.
He added that the parents of these students have a choice regarding whether to send their children to school and back on the school bus or not. He also stated that this is not the biggest issue, the biggest issue for them is the fee which is collected from the parents of these students in the name of file opening fees, which the education ministry has now asked the schools to include in their basic fee so that no hidden charges or costs are put on the parents.
He also said that many parents could avoid the extremely high expenditure of the tuition of private schools simply by enrolling their children in public schools. There are a number of private schools which have raised the fees due to the additional insurance costs which have been put on the families of teachers, which amount to SAR 10,000 on an average. Malik Ghazi Taleb has however warned those schools that are not complying with the regulations and rules set by the ministry that they could very well be facing many penalties which also include not increasing their student fee for many years or they could also have their licenses revoked or suspended.
He also stated that the committee by the Jeddah Chambers of Commerce and Industry technically has none of the regulatory powers however they can provide services in assisting or mediating any conflicts or problems which may arise between the schools and the parents of the students of these schools. No cost of education should be hidden by the family as it can be embarrassing for both student and parent if parents cannot afford these additional unnecessary expenditures. Additionally the Ministry should also keep in mind that Saudi people rarely have only 1 child, hence the added costs multiply per child.
Source: Arab News
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