Hooray! The academic school year is finally over. Parents who feel they are subject of extortion and torture by investors in education, opportunists who turned into educators and all sorts of related to education multiple service providers, finally can take a deep breath and smile…, at least for a while. During the next two months they will not receive countless emails demanding various payments or offering them all sorts of services and additional courses for a fee.
The widely advocated by modern society in the developed countries right of education has become a very profitable business in Dubai. Despite of parents’ complaints about the cost of schooling and the the quality of education, Dubai’s private schools’ balance sheets are flourishing and tuition fees are subject to increase nearly every year. Revenue at the private education provider GEMS Education grew more than 20% in the year through March, as rising fees and pupil numbers boosted the numbers. GEMS, which runs schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as internationally, earned US$674.8 million in revenue, up 20.6 per cent against the previous year’s figure of $559.6m. In the same time, parents report dramatic measures taken by the GEMS schools in the events of late payments, such as preventing a child to attend school for a number of days repeatedly. Holding school reports even for unpaid next year’s re-enrollment fee is also a practice at the GEMS school. Another school operator that has has been applying similar and even worse practices for extracting payments from parents is the investment company behind Repton schools. During the past years, it was reported in the media on several occasions that children have been asked to return home if their parents were late with the payments.
However, in the same time when schools’ revenues are growing and investors in education are getting richer, ordinary working parents struggle to provide for all of the expenses Dubai’s private schools have mastered to demand.