Abu Dhabi Education Council approves fee hikes for 24 private schools

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ABU DHABI, 6th June, 2017 (WAM) — The Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEC, has approved the fee hike request of 24 private schools in Abu Dhabi starting from the 2017-2018 academic year.

The average increase in fee is about three percent. Meanwhile, ADEC has rejected the request of 60 private schools. A total of 84 schools had submitted the request to increase fees, out of which 14 offer Asian curriculums.

ADEC indicated that all the applications were thoroughly analysed and reviewed by the Private Schools and Quality Assurance, PSQA, sector to ensure full compliance with the applicable criteria and school improvement plans.

Hamad Al Dhaheri, PSQA’s Executive Director, said that the body is keen to provide students with affordable and high-quality education opportunities over a wide array of curriculums, on par with the best international practices. Additionally, ADEC has implemented a world-class comprehensive inspection programme called Irtiqa’a, which aims to measure the quality of education delivered by schools.

Currently, 34 percent of private school students pay less than AED10,000 in annual fees, 24 percent pay between AED20,000 and 30,000, 12 percent pay between AED30,000 to 50,000, and only six percent pay more than AED50,000.

ADEC had earlier notified all private schools on the deadline for submitting the fee increase requests and the submission mechanisms and requirements. Incomplete submissions that do not meet ADEC’s criteria are not considered.

The Council also announced the assessment criteria and requirements to be eligible for the fee hike requests. A circulation was sent by ADEC emphasising the importance of having the principal’s signature on the requests to ensure completeness and accuracy. Closing accounts of the last two fiscal years were also made mandatory as per the PSQA Policy Manual.

ADEC reviewed all the fee increase requests based on the applicable assessment matrix and the total points scored based on each standard.

“ADEC identifies a number of sub-criteria under the main five criteria, which focus more on school performance according to the Irtiqa’a report, and the school spending on teaching, technical and administrative staff including salaries, professional development, teacher retention rate, as well as the number of SEN students registered in the school and the number of national teaching and administrative staff,” said Al Dhaheri.

He explained that these guidelines and control tools are enforced to achieve a balance between investor and parental rights.

ADEC continually monitors tuition as well as other fees and ensures that schools refrain from imposing additional charges without obtaining its approval.

Source: WAM/Hazem/Mahmoud