Abu Dhabi announces new model of affordable private schools


The new schools will have significantly lower fees and will launch at the beginning of the next academic year.

[The plans were agreed under the orders of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and based on a proposal made by the head of the Department of Education and Knowledge. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National]
Abu Dhabi is to launch a new model of private schools that will see a collaboration between the public and private sectors, and annual school fees that are considerably lower than those currently charged in the emirate.

The move comes as part of the capital’s development plan 21/19, which was set in place last week to ensure that initiatives announced with the economic stimulus package are completed within the next three years.

Under the new model, school fees will range between Dh20,000 and Dh30,000 with the aim of providing private schools at prices suitable for different segments of society.

The plans were agreed under the orders of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and based on a proposal made by Dr Ali Al Nuemi, head of the Department of Education and Knowledge. This is ADEK’s first move into private education.

The launch of the new school model is planned for the beginning of the upcoming academic year in September.

The proposal comes after a detailed study was made on the educational needs of society as well as extended negotiations with the private sector. The plans are designed to offer more affordable education that will help reduce the financial burden on both nationals and expatriates.

In the coming weeks, it is expected that the government will announce partnerships with the private sector and a pilot school that will come into operation in the next academic year.

ADEK will also continue with the policies that are already in place concerning increases to private school fees.

The move will be welcomed by many UAE residents who have been tightening their belts in 2018, with a shift in the employment market seeing companies hiring more young professionals on lower wages and big changes in employment packages, including provisions for school fees.

The quarterly Consumer Confidence Tracker from comparison site yallacompare said earlier this year that 43 per cent of residents are feeling less confident about their financial health than they were this time last year.

Last week, Dubai announced that the cost of school fees at private schools will be frozen this academic year. The move was intended to reduce the financial burden on parents.

A raft of other measures aimed at slashing the cost of doing business in Dubai, and driving up investment in the city, were also set to be rolled out. Market fees imposed by Dubai Municipality will be halved from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent and 19 fees related to the aviation industry have been scrapped.

Abu Dhabi recently also announced a Dh50 billion stimulus package to transform the ease of doing business, and bring lasting economic benefits to Emiratis, residents and investors.

Source: The National