Private schools trick parents into paying more

Updated 07 September 2015

Private schools trick parents into paying more

JEDDAH: Private schools have been devising new ways to raise money from parents to circumvent the Education Ministry’s cap on fee increases, a local publication reported here recently.
Schools now charge for services that do not require the ministry’s approval including SR500 to SR1,000 for opening a new file for a student, up to SR2,000 for school uniforms, SR3,000 to SR4,000 for transport depending on the distance, and SR1,100 to SR2,500 for books.
Sameer Al-Hakeem, manager of foreign education at the Jeddah Education Department, said these additional costs are up to 50 percent of the stipulated fees. Some schools announce that their fees are SR10,000 and then charge an extra SR5,000 for these additional items, without ministry oversight, he said.
Malik Ghazi Taleb, chairman of the private and international school committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said that schools should not charge for transport.
“Parents have a choice in this regard and can choose not to send their children in the school bus.” The problem is the fees for opening new files, which the ministry is now asking schools to declare as part of the basic fee, he said.
He said parents could avoid the high cost of private school tuition by placing their children in public schools. Many private schools have raised their fees because of additional insurance costs for the family members of teachers, which on average amounts to SR10,000.
However, Taleb warned that schools failing to comply with the ministry’s regulations could face several penalties including not increasing fees for several years, or have their licenses suspended or revoked.
He said the JCCI committee does not have any regulatory powers but can assist to mediate any conflict that may arise between parents and schools.


Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation. (SPA)
Updated 6 min 8 sec ago

Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

  • People not wearing masks will be fined

JEDDAH: The Kingdom could return to extreme precautionary restrictions if the number of COVID-19 patients exceeds the medical sector’s capacity, Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah warned on Saturday.

“Public awareness and adherence to precautionary measures is essential to continue the ease of restrictions,” Al-Rabiah told Al-Arabiya on Saturday. “We continue monitoring the situation based on the number of critical cases in hospitals and their capacity to receive them. We want to be able to receive all cases that reach out to us and provide them with the care that they need. We are all in one boat in this situation, we are one team, and we must work together cautiously. Lack of commitment will definitely take us back to where we were.”

The minister expressed his concern about overcrowding in some public places during the Eid holidays, adding that while crowds were likely at the initial phase of the ‘unlock’ he remained optimistic about the public’s awareness level.

The minister said that although children were the least likely to be infected they could carry the virus without symptoms. He advised families to keep children away from elderly members of their families such as grandparents.

There were 1,618 new cases reported in Saudi Arabia, meaning that 83,384 people have now contracted the disease. There are currently 24,501 active cases.

The Health Ministry announced that 1,870 more patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 58,883. More than 70 percent of coronavirus patients in the Kingdom have recovered from the disease.

There were 22 new COVID-19-related deaths reported on Saturday, raising the total number of fatalities to 480.

The ministry has assigned 30 health practitioners to carry out the third stage of an expanded examination plan to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the city of Makkah.

FASTFACTS

• 58,883 recoveries

• 24,501 active cases

The examination will take place at a center in the Al-Zaidi district, where citizens and expats will be tested inside their cars through 12 tracks without the need to leave their vehicles. The center has the capacity for over 1,000 tests daily and these will be carried out through appointments made on the ministry’s Sehaty app.

Adjustments to previously announced social-distancing measures and regulations were announced by the Saudi Interior Ministry on Saturday. These include new violation penalties, as the second stage of restriction-easing starts on May 31.

Individuals who intentionally violate regulations will pay SR1,000 ($266). Breaches include not wearing a mask, not committing to social distancing marks and areas, refusing to undergo temperature checks at entrances, or not adhering to preventive protocols if their temperature is higher than 38 degrees Celsius.

The ministry amended the maximum number of people allowed for social gatherings inside homes, rest houses, farms, or in social events such as funerals and parties to 50 people.

Private sector establishments that are found to be non-compliant with new preventive measures and protocols will pay a penalty of SR10,000.

This penalty covers violations such as admitting entry to individuals not wearing medical or cloth masks, lack of disinfectants and sterilizers, not checking employee and customer temperatures at entrances, lack of sterilization on shopping facilities, cart surfaces and shopping baskets after each use, as well as opening fitting rooms and children’s play areas.
Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation.