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Kuwaiti lawmakers warn minister against hiking school fees
January 27, 2016, 10:07 am
Recommendation to allow schools to decide tuition fees based on supply and demand rejected

Kuwaiti lawmakers have warned the education minister they would quiz him if he allowed private schools to make their own decisions about the tuition fees new students had to pay.

A committee set up by the education ministry to look into the fees charged by the American and British schools has submitted a series of recommendations that included allowing the schools to make their decisions regarding the financial requirements for registering new students based on the principle of supply and demand.

The committee reportedly said that parents who believed the fees were too exorbitant should move their children to public schools where no fees are required.

However, lawmakers on Tuesday rejected the recommendations and said their options included quizzing the education minister.

“Should the ministry go ahead with the recommendation to give foreign private schools the full freedom to decide on their own the fees new students have to pay, there will be a questioning of the minister Badr Al Eissa,” MP Ouda Al Ruwai said. MP Yousuf Al Zalzala said that the education system should not be affected by negative issues.

“The recommendation does not make sense and we hope the prime minister will put an end to all negative issues that harm education,” he said. “If the education ministry gives a free hand to private schools to decide their fees, the minister should start getting ready to be quizzed,” he said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Al Rai on Wednesday.

MP Abdul Rahman Al Jiran said he objected to the recommendation. “This is not a good decision and it does not serve the education process in any way,” he said. “The education ministry needs to reconsider its decision. Any increase in the schooling fees has to be linked to new services provided by the schools,” he said.

Several parents said they were shocked by the rising fees asked by private schools in Kuwait, arguing they had largely surpassed what the same schools asked in other countries in the region.

“I allocate one third of my salary to the tuition to the education of my children in a private school,” one parent was quoted by the daily as saying. “I believe that the supply and demand principle may be applied in all fields, but not in education,” he said.

Source: Gulf News

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