DOHA: The Supreme Education Council (SEC) is working on some new regulations governing private school fees to address persistent complaints of parents.
From this year, requests from private schools seeking fee hike will be studied based on a set of new criteria, on top of which will be the students’ academic performance and the quality of educational services provided by the school, the SEC said yesterday.
The new rules are also expected to curb the practice of imposing additional fees on students under various pretexts, without approval of the SEC.
Since the beginning of the new academic year, complaints from parents have been pouring in about fee hike by several private schools and the irregularities in the fee structure of some institutions.
In a statement issued yesterday in response to such complaints, Hamad Al Ghali, director of the Private Schools Office at SEC said, “The school fees should be balanced with the quality of educational services and the student performance.”
This year, the SEC allowed 28 private schools and kindergartens to increase their fees, of the total 130 institutions that sought permission for a hike, said the statement. The decision was taken based on a set of existing conditions and requirements and the new regulations will reflect in all future decisions. The financial status of the school was one of the factors taken into consideration and some of the schools were complaining that they could not even survive without a fee hike, said the SEC.
All the schools were required to produce a financial report for the past three years and their financial plan for the new academic year, along with the application.
Additions of new infrastructure facilities, new curricula, new teaching methods, building rents, increase in teachers’ salaries, parent satisfaction, competence of teachers, reputation of the school were among other factors that were considered while studying the fee hike requests.
The SEC had rejected all requests seeking an excessive increase in fees, and those without proper justifications and the required documents, said Al Ghali. SEC also rejected requests that could put additional burden on parents by imposing fees for items that schools are supposed to provide without any extra fee, he added.
He urged the parents to report to the SEC if a school is trying to impose additional fees and make it part of the tuition fees without approval from the SEC. Such complaints will be addressed, he added. On complaints that some schools have been charging a higher fee for their Qatari students, compared to non-Qataris, the SEC said, they are allowed to do so because the tuition fee for Qatari students have been paid through educational vouchers.