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Monday, January 24, 2022

Education ministry warns school fee hikes must be pre-approved


The ministry’s strict regulations come as part of efforts to control private tuition fees in the country.

All tuition spikes by private schools and kindergartens must be approved by the ministry of education prior to any implementation, the country’s Private Schools Licensing Department has said.

In a statement, the ministry stressed that there’s a strict watch on school tuition and other fees to ensure educational institutions are not collecting any fees or charges that have not been pre-approved by authorities.

“This diligence on the part of the department prevents private schools and kindergartens from collecting any fee or charge that has not been pre-approved by the ministry, and no kindergarten or school in the country can increase fees without the approval of the ministry,” the statement read.

Any action otherwise would be treated as a violation, it added.

Schools limited to 2% price hike, ministry official says

All educational institutions that wish to increase their prices should submit an application with necessary justifications and documents to support their case.

For the application to be approved, several factors must be considered, including financial deficit or loss that can be proven by official school records, or shifting the institution to a new campus with a higher rent.

The hike in fees should also correspond to further improvements in the quality of education offered or related to the need for investors to make reasonable profit in order to help them improve and continue their investment in education.

This comes as part of efforts to control tuition fees in the country amid rising demands by parents and students dealing with expensive cost of schools during the ongoing global health crisis.

To cater to the community’s concerns, the ministry said it is working on creating an environment that encourages improving the quality of education at private schools while also giving just and fair diversified educational opportunities and options for all students.

As it stands, Phase 3 of the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions stipulates all schools must adopt blended learning, though an updated ministry decision is likely to be announced ahead of the new academic year in September.

Meanwhile, health authorities have been urging parents to vaccinate their students prior to attending classes next month.

Children aged 12-15 are also among those deemed vulnerable. Although they may not experience severe symptoms, they are at risk of prolonged period of sickness and there’s a high chance of transmitting the virus rapidly.

Read also: Qatar hits 4 million Covid-19 vaccine doses milestone.

Health officials are combining efforts to assure parents that the vaccine is safe for their children and extremely important for returning back to school and normal life.

Dr Soha Al Bayat, Head of the Vaccination Section in the Department of Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control at the Ministry of Public Health, pointed out that more than 40% of children aged 12-15 years have taken two doses of the vaccine recently.

Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital Dr. Yousef al-Maslamani previously assured vaccines used in Qatar are safe for use.

“We have vaccines which are very safe and highly effective against such variants. Therefore, it is more important than ever to get vaccinated. Your support is important, and it makes us all safe if everyone gets vaccinated at the earliest,” he said.

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