RIYADH – The SR20 increase per child in the monthly tuition fee that the International Indian School, Riyadh (IISR) announced Tuesday has upset parents here. The increased tuition will be used to accommodate the long-standing demand of teachers for an increase in their pay effective from October this year.
Imthias Ahmed, IISR managing committee (MC) Chairman, informed parents in a circular of the tuition fee increase of SR20 per month for the first two children in a family.
The IISR was in the news last month when teachers went on strike twice pressing the MC for a pay rise. Knowing the sensitivity of the issue, Ahmed chose the last working day of the school to announce the increase in the tuition fee.
Ahmed said the MC had no other choice except to increase fees in order to meet the eight percent increase in teachers’ salaries starting from October this year.
He said the MC has earlier agreed to raise the teachers’ salary by eight percent on their existing pay-scale, which would amount to SR15,68,981 on the school’s limited resources.
Despite an increase of SR20 in the tuition fee, the school will still fall short by SR630,641 after paying the increased salaries of teachers, Ahmed said in the circular. He said the MC would explore other means to fill the gap.
However, the parents’ community reacted strongly to the fee hike saying that the decision was the highest form of ‘insensitivity’ on the part of the MC, particularly when IISR has been posting a surplus for the past several years.
The current nominated MC since taking over last year has taken several decisions which have taken money out of the pockets of parents, some people here alleged.
Azmathullah Sharief, moderator of the IISR Parents Forum (PF), an Internet group with a membership of 1,800 parents, said the hike in the tuition fee would be a further burden for more than 80 percent of the parents who are in the low-income bracket.
Sharief said the current MC has increased the transportation fee by SR10, introduced a computer lab fee of SR60 and an optional summer camp fee of SR200.
With the current increase in the fee, parents with two children enrolled in the school will have to pay an additional SR430 in tuition charges.
The new fee structure will be SR210 for the first child and SR200 for the second child up from SR190 and SR180.
“The IISR is no longer a community school with its frequent increase in various fees,” he said adding, “it would be better if the Indian Embassy outsourced the management of the school to a private company.”
Moreover, the PF said the increase in the tuition fee during the current academic year is a violation of the New Delhi-based Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to which the IISR is affiliated.
Sharief said the CBSE rules clearly specify that unaided schools should consult parents through their representatives before revising fees. “The fee should not be revised during the middle of the academic year,” he said quoting from CBSE by-laws.
He said the PF would take up the matter with the CBSE after the reopening of the school in October. “The increase in the tuition fee is in flagrant violation of CBSE rules,” he said. – SG