The cheapest private school in Dubai, The Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistan Higher Secondary School charging parents only Dhs180 to Dhs350 per month is in financial trouble.
The not-for-profit school currently offers a lifeline to Pakistani families in the lowest income bracket.
However, according to the Gulf News, the community school, run by the Pakistani Consulate General, is in trouble.
Javed Jalil Khattak, Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai said, “there are 1.3 million Pakistanis living in the UAE. It is the second largest expat community here, and the majority of our people are from the low- income group, so their earnings in some cases don’t even allow them to afford the Dh180 to Dh350 fee.”
He went on to note that many of the school’s parents have racked-up unpaid fees often totaling Dhs10,000 or more.
Although the school has been ranked ‘unsatisfactory’ by the KHDA for six consecutive years, it currently has 1,400 students registered and a staggering 1,200 on the waiting list.
Khattak notes that low and unpaid fees have meant little investment in infrastructure, teaching quality and teacher salaries, resulting in a drop in education quality.
He went on to note, “the KHDA has announced that we can increase the fee by a certain percentage (2.92 per cent) but that is a small percentage. You could only increase the fee if you fall in a certain category like good (4.38 per cent) or outstanding (5.84 per cent).”
Principal Dr Abdur Rashid Bangash, remained adamant that the low fees hinder the school in attracting talented teachers- resulting in the poor KHDA ranking and low quality of education.
“The problem is finding quality and talented teachers in the market that will accept our low salaries. The salaries in our school range from Dh2,000 to Dh3,500. We have a high turnover because of this and, whenever we have a good teacher, competing schools lure them with higher salaries,” said Bangash.