Education gets costlier in Dubai

April 9, 2012

School


Dubai, April 9: Dubai’s private schools received the green signal on Sunday to increase fees as the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced a new school fees framework.


Fee increases for the new academic year will range between three to six per cent this year based on an educational cost index (ECI), which will be announced regularly by the Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC), and the school inspection report issued by the Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB).


‘Outstanding’ schools will be allowed to increase their fees at double the rate of the ECI, which will amount to six per cent for the new academic year.


‘Good’ schools can increase fees by one and half times, which amounts to 4.5 per cent. ‘Unsatisfactory’ and ‘acceptable’ schools will be allowed to increase fees at three per cent. The DSIB classifies schools into outstanding, good, acceptable and unsatisfactory following an inspection cycle. Fee increases were tied to school inspection results in 2008 as increases were directly linked with the quality of education at schools.


Fee increase requests by most schools have been stalled since 2010 as the Dubai Executive Council had ordered a freeze on school fees. However, a few education operators were given a nod to increase fees over the last three years.


Taking into account the school inspection results, the new rules are aimed at regularising fee increases and tying them with the quality of education in Dubai’s private schools.


Mohammed Darwish, chief of Regulations and Compliance Commission at KHDA, said: “The framework prioritises the interests of students and parents and encourages investment in the education sector by allowing schools to develop long-term growth plans, as well as motivating existing schools to improve the quality of education they offer.”


While the new regulations are being developed after taking feedback from students, parents and schools, the increase comes as a surprise to many parents.


“Every parent wants the best for their child and these schools know about it very well. The fee hikes are something we can’t avoid and we can’t help but feel exploited,” said a parent who did not wish to be named.


In addition to the existing fee increases, ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’ schools can apply for exceptions to meet additional cost of investments in educational infrastructure. Admission and registration costs will also be regulated with the new rules.


The Department of Economic Development, Department of Finance, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Real Estate Corporation, Dubai Statistics Centre, Dubai Executive Council and KHDA worked on developing the framework, which will be a medium to long-term solution to review fee increase applications by schools.


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News Network
September 28,2020

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Riyadh, Sept 28: Saleh Benten Muhammad, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Hajj and Umrah has announced that the Ministry of Health would take a decision on whether India and other countries will be allowed to send their pilgrims to perform Umrah.

The minister’s announcement follows an earlier statement by the Ministry of Interior saying that the Kingdom would allow foreign Umrah performers to enter the Kingdom in the third phase of the gradual resumption of the suspended Umrah service effective from Nov. 1.

In a television interview with Al-Ekhbariya channel, Benten said that there would be a special electronic path for the arrival and departure of foreign Hajj pilgrims for next year’s Hajj. Referring to the resumption of Umrah service for domestic pilgrims effective from Oct. 4, the minister said that only 12 groups of pilgrims would be allowed to perform Umrah within 24 hours in the first phase.

“The pilgrims will be divided into groups and each group will be accompanied by a health professional at the Haram. Only pilgrims with ages ranging between 18 and 65 years will be allowed in the first phase,” he said.

Benten revealed that there is no fee for issuance of Umrah permit. “No Umrah pilgrims will be allowed to enter the Grand Mosque in Makkah without completing the entry procedures through the mobile app “I’tamarana” and this is to ensure the health and safety of pilgrims,” he said, adding that alternative arrangement will be made if there is any technical snag for completing the procedures through the app.

Domestic pilgrims

Saudi citizens and expatriates as well as their families in the Kingdom are allowed to download the Umrah mobile application titled “I’tamarna,” effective from Sunday to register their names to perform Umrah pilgrimage as well as to visit and worship at the Two Holy Mosques.

The application is now available for users of iOS and Android operating systems on their smartphones seven days before the start of the first phase of the pilgrimage. The Ministry of Interior announced earlier the gradual resumption of Umrah and visits to the Two Holy Mosques with a limited number of pilgrims, starting from Oct. 4.

In the first phase, citizens and expatriates from within the Kingdom will be allowed to perform Umrah at a capacity of 30 percent from Oct. 4 that translates to 6,000 pilgrims per day and that is in compliance with the health precautionary measures of the Grand Mosque. The pilgrims will be allowed to perform the ritual in 12 groups, each consisting of 500 pilgrims in a day.

The registration of the data entered by the pilgrims and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques will be directly related to the application “Tawakkalna,” the official app launched by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This step would consist of a number of procedures, including providing a guarantee that the pilgrim or visitor is free from coronavirus, the Ministry of Hajj said.

The app will enable the pilgrims and visitors to plan their pilgrimage and visit in advance, as well as to make reservation of optional services to perform their rituals in ease and comfort, in addition to ensuring the compliance of the health and precautionary measures and preventive protocols, approved by the Ministry of Health and other competent authorities, to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The Ministry of Hajj has developed the app in cooperation with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) to regulate the times of rituals of those wishing to visit Makkah and Madinah to perform Umrah and pray at the Two Holy Mosques.

Meanwhile, stores for Ihram clothing resumed business after a long interval of more than six months in Saudi Arabia prior to the partial resumption of the Umrah season from next Sunday. Ihram is one of the three pillars of Umrah, and it means entering the sacred state, during which certain things are prohibited. Men must wear two pieces of unstitched sheet of white cloth while women can wear their ordinary clothes.

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Agencies
September 29,2020

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Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait passed away on today in a hospital in the United States. He was 91.

Born in 1929, Sheikh Sabah is widely regarded as the architect of modern Kuwait’s foreign policy – having served as foreign minister for nearly 40 years between 1963 and 2003 – when he became prime minister.

He became Kuwait’s emir in January 2006 after the death of Sheikh Jaber al-Sabah.

In August 2019, Kuwait acknowledged Sheikh Sabah suffered an unspecified medical “setback” that required he be admitted to hospital.

In July 2020, he flew to the United States seeking medical attention after undergoing surgery. A US Air Force C-17 flying hospital transported Sheikh Sabah from Kuwait to Rochester, Minnesota, home of the flagship campus of the Mayo Clinic.

The emir had his appendix removed in 2002, two years after having a pacemaker fitted. In 2007, he underwent urinary tract surgery in the United States.

When the emir was absent in the past, 83-year-old Crown Prince Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the emir’s half-brother, was appointed acting ruler as per the country’s constitutional law. Sheikh Nawaf is an elder statesman who has held high office for decades, including the defence and interior portfolios.

Sheikh Sabah had pushed for diplomacy to solve regional issues, such as the continuing boycott of Qatar by four Arab nations, and he hosted major donor conferences for war-torn nations such as Iraq and Syria.

Kuwait television earlier interrupted regular programming to cut to Quaranic verses on Tuesday, a move that often signifies the death of a senior member of the Gulf Arab state’s ruling family.

His death comes as the nation continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 103,981 people and caused 605 related deaths in the country of 4.1 million. Its health ministry said more than 95,500 people have recovered from COVID-19.

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Agencies
September 29,2020

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Sharjah, Sept 29: Four Emirati motorists nearly drowned in a wadi in Sharjah when their vehicles were swept away in a flood on Monday afternoon, according to reports. They managed to quickly escape their cars as the water started getting in.

The men were in their SUVs when a downpour triggered a flood that sent their cars floating down Wadi Shees in Khor Fakkan, according to a report by the Arabic daily Al Khaleej.

In a video that went viral on social media, the drivers were seen jumping from their vehicles and into the flood waters.

Khalifa Al Dahmani, one of the survivors, said that after getting out of their vehicles, the strong current further dragged them away, nearly drowning them, the report said. The 27-year-old thanked the Sharjah Police for helping them out and lifting their cars out of the wadi.

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