Sending children to premium schools in Dubai can be expensive, but this term the financial cost to parents will be a good deal less than in previous terms. The reason for this is that, although the choice of distance learning or in-person tuition does not impact fees according to KHDA, some schools have decided to lower their tuition costs (in some cases permanently) to support families.
Dubai English Speaking College (DESC) and its primary Dubai English Speaking School (DESS), for instance, – both rated Outstanding by the KHDA in 2018/19 – have announced a permanent reduction in their tuition fees from September 2020 onwards.
Andrew Gibbs, Principal of DESS and DESC, explained: “We have offered a 5% reduction at DESS (Primary from FS1-Year 6) and a 12% reduction at DESC (Secondary from Year 7 – Year 13). The economic challenges wrought by Covid-19 are inescapably hitting family incomes across Dubai and beyond; as a consequence, we wanted to help our two communities.”
Hartland International School has permanently reduced its fees too, by nearly AED 9,000 for FS1 students and by AED 4,000 for students in year 11, the highest age bracket it currently caters to.
The fact that many schools are now either partly or wholly online should have no impact on tuition fees said Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). “The choice of distance learning does not impact the fees,” he said, adding that parents should get in touch with their own individual school if their situation means they require a temporary reduction in fees. “We encourage parents to have confidential discussions with the schools. Most of the schools that we talked to are very keen to help out as much as possible. These are the kind of conversations we would like to see between the schools and the parents themselves.”