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Criteria for fee concessions are unclear, parents say.

Dubai: If Global Education Management Systems (GEMS) can provide fee concessions why can't they simply reduce fees, asked parents whose children attend Dubai Modern High School.

The school has been criticised by parents after GEMS, under which it operates, announced a 90 per cent hike in tuition fees.

GEMS operates around 26 schools in the UAE that cater to Indian, British and American curricula.

The private education provider said it has received clearance for the fee hike from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority. It said the criteria for the concessions are based on "merit cum means".

Parents who have filled the concession forms said they are yet to receive an update on the application.

They said they have no idea on what basis the concessions will be provided. They were asked to attach their salary certificate along with the form for concession.

In reply to a query on the number of parents who have applied for concessions, GEMS issued a statement on Monday which read: "We cannot answer the specific question due to the highly sensitive, personal and confidential nature of the programme.

"We are considering a number of cases for financial aid and are in the process of evaluating applications. Once we have finalised these we will coordinate with parents.

The programme will be means tested and outcomes will be kept confidential and will target parents who are in most need."

Parents told Gulf News they fear that the concept of fee concessions could drive a divide among pupils who study there.

A parent who has asked for a concession said she was angry when she was required to provide a salary certificate.

Another parent said: "If you want to give concessions then reduce the fee. I also felt pretty cheap when I was asked to give an attested salary certificate along with the concession forms."

Irrespective of their financial status, parents will apply for concessions, he said.

"Moreover, GEMS has not said what the criteria for concessions are. All that the concession forms ask for are the salary and how much concession a parent is looking for."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Feb 17, 2009
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