Parents have to cut down on a lot of things to pay high school fees, especially when it goes up by four to five per cent, two years in a row. On top of school fees, we have to consider putting our children through extra tuitions or classes, because some teachers don’t teach well.
From Ms Shamim Esmail
Better quality for high price
I think sending children to schools or universities takes up almost half or more of a parent’s salary. Is it even worth it? I have studied in Dubai all my life, with my parents squeezing out money just for my education. Even though I went to school, I was forced to go for tuitions or extra classes after school hours. But there are thousands of parents who cannot afford it. My parents have given up so much for me and I have somehow managed to get through it. My parents then sent me to the US for university only because it was costing them the same. By reducing the school fees or even maintaining the fee cost, but introducing better teachers, it would really help.
From Ms Amanda Aster Dsouza
Earn more, live better
The easy way out is to stop complaining and find ways to earn more to maintain the kind of lifestyle we all want. The UAE is providing great opportunities for everyone to earn money. You always have the easy choice of blaming the system, or you can simply find ways to earn more money so that your needs are met. That is what I do.
From Mr Muhammad Shah
More affordable options
Parents should ask themselves — is the quality of education of international standard? Are there any affordable options? Children’s education is a basic necessity and there should surely be more affordable options.
From Ms Claudelle Khenfoussi
The issue is not the fees but the quality of education provided. I fear some schools are far from achieving the level of education that is taught in top primary and secondary schools internationally. With the systematic rise in fees and with no control over the level of education provided, I think more and more people are sending their children to boarding schools abroad. I fear I will have to make the same choice, soon.
From Ms Sandra Pavlowsky Darré
I accept that the safety and wellbeing of the child is taken into account, but the standard of education in most schools, and the passion of teachers is nothing compared to what we pay for. The schools are more focused on gaining ratings and finding new ways to charge the parents, without any transparency.
From Ms Ahmad Seddiqi
Need for control
The authorities could control the exceptionally high fees in some schools in the UAE, because it is not about education anymore. It has become a business and it’s getting impossible for families with low incomes to provide their children with education.
From Mr Kashi Khan
You get what you pay for
As someone who has grown up in the UAE, and has completed both high school and university education here, I would say you get what you pay for. If you want your child to have the best education, you have to shell out more money for it — it’s simple mathematics. If you don’t think computer labs and extracurriculars are that important, send your child to a school that does not focus on those aspects, and I’m sure the fees would be lower there. Parents are in control. They just have to make the choice that works for them. Often, you find parents who want everything for their child, but don’t want to pay to get it. That’s unrealistic.
From Ms Sharon Albert
The school fees used to be affordable, but are now becoming a burden for many parents. Depending on the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) ratings, the fee keeps increasing annually.
From Ms Habeera Hussain
It is compulsory for parents to buy the school study pack. That pack includes books, which the child is never asked to bring to class. Last year, I bought four workbooks for a subject, yet they were never used. This year, I had to buy another bunch, which is exactly the same set as the year before. Why are they giving books which they don’t use and force parents to pay for them?
From a Reader
Full name withheld by request
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