Private schools hike fee to cushion Ajeer levy impact


Saudi Gazette

— All private and community schools will now have to pay a levy of SR9,500 per year for each teacher or employee who is not under their sponsorship.

This levy is being charged under the Ajeer program which is designed to regulate and document the temporary work of foreign employees working for those who are not their sponsors.

This program was announced in 2015, but will be enforced from April 1.

However, Saudi government schools will have to pay a levy of only SR1,500 per year for each expat teacher or employee who is not under their sponsorship.

As a result of the increased Ajeer levy, most international schools have decided to hike fees.

The International Indian School in Dammam (IISD) has increased the school fee by SR15 at all levels. The school has also hiked its establishment levy that is charged once at the time of admission from SR1,000 to SR1,500.

It has also scrapped fee concession given to the second child of a parent.

The International Indian School in Riyadh has also hiked its fee, while Jeddah has yet to announce fee hike.

Similarly international schools of Pakistan, the Philippines, Bangladesh and dozens of other private schools are giving final touches to new fee structure.

A majority of academic staff in international schools in the Kingdom consists of dependents (wives and daughters) of expatriate workers.

In IISD, out of nearly 1,000 teachers more than 700 are women who are under the sponsorship of their husbands or parents.

The International Indian School Dammam has announced that 50% of the SR9,500 levy will be paid by teachers and the remaining 50% by the school.

This report was confirmed by IISD Principal Dr. Mohammad Shaffe.

But teachers are aghast at the decision of the school management. It is worth mentioning here that Indian schoolteachers, who are not under school sponsorship, are the low-paid staff. Their salaries range between SR1,800 and SR4,000 without any perks and benefits.

Previously the school was providing free education to the children of teachers and was giving concession in transportation fee. But of late the school management withdrew these facilities.

The school has been charging SR10 from all students as “Support Facility” for the past one year. The school principal admitted that the fee was levied to reduce the deficit school was incurring in transport.