Private schools are not allowed to make sudden announcements about fee hikes, a senior official of the Supreme Education Council (SEC) has said.
Hamad Al Ghali, Director of the Private Schools Office at SEC said all schools must announce their fee structure in April every year and keep parents informed well in advance in case of an increase in fees. If the school is introducing new programmes which require additional fees, the parents must be told in advance so they can decide whether to keep their children at the school. In case of a fee hike, schools are required to send a letter to all parents informing them about the decision and explaining the reasons, Al Ghali told a local Arabic daily, in response to complaints from parents about high fees of private schools.
The fee structure should be presented in writing to the parents who must sign their approval, said the official.
If it is found that any school has collected fees from students that is not approved by the SEC, the money will be refunded in 24 hours. Schools should explain to parents the ways of payment and the payment schedule and how the fees can be refunded if the student leaves the school or is transferred to another school. No fee should be paid before the period specified in the schedule.
The Private School Office has put a cap of QR11 for increase in prices of school uniforms and QR65 for books. However books sourced from other countries are not included in this rule, because they will have their own prices.
According to SEC rules, private schools are required to submit details about all types of fees to the SEC including the fees for books and uniforms and take prior approval.
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