JEDDAH – All private schools in the Kingdom must receive permission from the Ministry of Education to increase their tuition fees.
The ministry’s move follows directives from the Council of Ministers making it incumbent upon private schools not to increase their fees unless they get approval from the ministry.
Private schools maintain that they are forced to increase fees because of the increase in the salaries of teachers and in overall school expenditures.
Moreover, they claim that the increase in fees also reflects the quality of education that they provide.
On the other hand, guardians approached by Saudi Gazette said the ministry’s decision will stabilize the fees charged by private schools, which, at times, have increased by 20 to 40 percent per annum.
Imad Waznah, the father of three children studying in private schools, welcomed the decision and said it would considerably decrease the financial burden of many families. Schools have been increasing fees arbitrarily and their reasons are unjustified and illogical, he said.
“As a parent of children in private schools, I was always taken by surprise upon receiving text messages informing me of an increase in school fees,” he said.
Saud Al-Lehaibi said he has now become used to the repeated increase in school fees. “Whenever I approached the school administration to ask about reasons for the hike, I never got a convincing reply,” he said.
He added that the increase in tuition fees has never been uniform. “It always differs from year to year,” he said.