New parent-school contract will be free

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New parent-school contract will be free Muaz Shabandri / 30 August 2013 Parents will not have to pay extra for signing a new parent-school contract which is being introduced at six private schools in Dubai as part of a pilot project from September onwards. Every student in Dubai will soon be a part of this mandatory contract which defines the rights and responsibilities of a school and a student. “Initially, the initiative will start with a trial period involving six schools. If this is successful, it will be rolled out across all schools in Dubai,” said Abdulrahman Nassir, Chief of Customer Relations at KHDA, in an interview with Khaleej Times. The contract is being introduced to reduce the number of grievances and complaints addressed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), a regulatory body which governs private education in the emirate of Dubai. Schools in Dubai have earned a reputation for being highly ‘business oriented’ with most schools announcing fee increases regularly, in line with the KHDA rules. The contract between schools and parents will help build transparency as the regulator expects the number of complaints between schools and parents to reduce. “One reason for disputes has been the lack of clarity between the two parties. We hope to decrease the number of grievances following the introduction of contracts. Parents benefit in the same way as schools by having their rights and responsibilities drawn up from the start. For example, fees and extra charges will be agreed upon in the contracts, to ensure there are no disputes over hidden costs for parents further down the line,” added Nassir. Experts at KHDA have worked upon the contract to include feedback from students, teachers and school operators. “It’s an original contract and was based on KHDA’s research which included external international benchmarking, focus groups and meetings with both schools and parents. The contracts are renewable and will be signed annually,” Nassir said. The six schools participating in the pilot phase of the initiative include, Dubai Modern Education School, Al Ittihad Private School (Al Mamzar), Al Ittihad Private School (Jumeriah), School of Modern Skills, Greenwood International School and American Academy in Al Mizhar, involving a total of 9632 students. Taylor Scott International

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