With the news last month that the KHDA plans to roll out the parent/school contracts across all Dubai private schools from September 2015, whichschooladvisor.com decided to find out just what this means for the Emirate's parents, children and schools. Speaking to Amal Belhasa, Chief of Compliance and Resolution Commission (CRC) of the KHDA, we asked her the questions YOU wanted answered.
How will the parent/school contract be implemented in September for both existing and new students?
“The contract is a mandatory part of the student registration step, thus it will be done and expected for completion at the same time of students registration deadline.”
How much of the new contract is devised by the KHDA and how much by the individual school?
“It is a standard generic contract with features that can be modified by schools (i.e. fee section, registration requirements, and curriculum). Schools, can adapt it according to their rules, regulations and policies.”
Does the KHDA review all contracts before the school presents them to parents?
“Yes, all contract are reviewed and approved by KHDA.”
Is there a cut-off date for completion? And can parents and/or schools potentially incur fines if the contract is not completed by this date?
"It is the same cut of date as of the student registration. If registration is not completed on time there will be certain consequences according to the school rules."
What do you see as the top three benefits of the parent/school contract for Dubai's parents?
1: "The contract is an essential tool for developing constructive and cooperative relationships between schools and parents. It fully outlines the expectations and responsibilities of both parties, protects their rights, and serves as a reference guide for solving any misunderstandings that may arise. KHDA will always refer to the contract for its decision making."
2: "The contract helps parents budget in that year and upcoming years."
3: "The contract acts as a tool for parental awareness."
Do children participate in signing the contract or are they just for parents?
"All children over the age of 15 sign the contract with their parents, to acknowledge they have read it and understood its clauses."
How should parents proceed and what should they do if they find their child's school is not honoring their side of the contractual agreement?
"Firstly the parents must follow the appeal process highlighted in the contract, then, if this process does not resolve the conflict, then KHDA should be approached."
How does the new contract protect parents financially?
"The contract should cover all fees expected from parents, the fees will be clearly identified in the contract both mandatory and optional fees. Thus, such clarity will help the parents while planning their yearly budget."
Can you explain the anti-bullying elements in the contract a little more for us please?
"The contract has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying in all its forms. Bullying is the intentional and deliberate intimidation of another person through emotional, physical, psychological and/or cyber means. Instances of proven and intentional bullying may result in immediate suspension of the aggressor from the school."