Don’t Pull Children out of School – KHDA

The KHDA has clarified the requirements for children to be promoted to the next year group/grade in September, following plans by some parents to educate their children from home, to avoid paying term 3 school fees.
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The KHDA has clarified that students who do not continue their education through distance learning at the school where they are registered with the education authority, will not be promoted to the next academic year in September. Instead they will be required to re-sit the current year group or grade.

In an update to the Q and A's on the KHDA website, the Dubai regulator quotes the UAE Ministry of Education Ministerial Decree no. 229 article 4, which states that "a student in grade 1/Year 2 and above who withdraws before the end of the academic year must repeat the same grade the following year."

The clarification followed a sharp rise in the number of parents seeking personally, or through tutors, to home school their children for term 3 – and save on school fees as a result.  The Regulator has already clamped down on the option of private tutoring with a ban imposed today - for further details see our article here.

The Parents’ Guide on the KHDA website sets out the requirements for students joining schools in Dubai or transferring from one to another.  Under normal circumstances a transfer certificate confirming completion of the academic year is required for all children from Year 2/Grade 3 onwards coming from outside the Emirate. 

The Q and A on the website states:

"For admission to Dubai’s private schools at a level higher than Grade 1, [Year 2] it is necessary to present proof of your child’s previous schooling."  This requires a Transfer Certificate, which, in Dubai, is issued via the KHDA's online system by the school that the student is leaving, and confirms that the student has completed the academic year.

Earlier in the day, one family was told by the KHDA that they could remove their children from their current school and apply to join a less costly school in September, where promotion would be possible subject to successful assessment of their children by the new school. However, in light of the fact that the children would not be receiving formal education for the remainder of term 3, this information was subsequently amended.

In an email shown to late today, the KHDA confirmed that "If the parents decided to withdraw their kids from the third semester, they are held accountable for the consequences of such decision and their kids will repeat the academic year 2019-20." 

A clarification of any requirement for FS/pre-KG/KG1 children is expected to be provided by the KHDA in the coming days.

As a concession to parents who may want to seek out a school with less expensive fees, the Dubai Education Regulator has extended the period in which students may be transferred within the Emirate to the third week of the new term. However, this leaves parents only one more week to notify their school of their intention to move their child and complete the application process at the new school.

Furthermore, since most schools require a term’s notice and full payment of all fees prior to the issue of a transfer certificate, it is hard to see how parents will be able to take advantage of this rule relaxation.  

The KHDA's stance is to ask parents to discuss with their children's schools and reach a financial arrangement that is equitable to both.  In addition, a growing number of schools have reduced their fees for term three, or have put in place procedures to provide assistance to families who need financial support in meeting the fees. 

Click on the link for more information on which schools have discounted their term three fees.

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