Bracing for spike in school bill

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By Shveta Pathak, Staff Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: Sending children to school in Dubai is expensive and this year will be no exception.

    *  Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News     * Stationery prices have increased by roughly 10-15 per cent compared to last year.
* Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News * Stationery prices have increased by roughly 10-15 per cent compared to last year.

Even as most of the schools have not intimated any increase in fees so far, there are many other areas where parents will have to shell out more money.

From bus fees to stationery prices, changing school uniform and books, parents have started to feel the pressure. Stationery prices have increased by roughly 10-15 per cent compared to last year whereas some schools have increased bus fees by around ten per cent this year.

“It was a shock for me when I went to the school today and learnt about an increase of Dh250 annually for the bus fee. As I have two kids, it straightaway means an additional Dh500. We were never informed about this increase earlier,” said an anguished parent, whose children study in an American school.

Ajay (not his real name), another parent, who has three sons, said he was upset after going to buy text books. He realised the school had changed them and they were also more expensive. The school where his sons study also changed their uniform, he said.

“The school where my kids study changed the text books for a few subjects like science and maths. However, when I saw the new books, I found that they covered the same topics. The new books are more expensive. For instance, the grade five science book that was priced at Dh75 with six topics, has been split into six books this year, each covering one topic, and the cost will come to Dh282. This is for one subject; the overall cost for text books per child for me has risen by almost three times. It is unexpected and also an unnecessary burden on the parents,” he said.

“Also, I used to buy some used books that would cost me half the price. But as the books have changed I can no longer buy used books. I have three children and the overall increase in cost is significant,” he added.

For some parents new uniforms will put an additional burden. “We buy uniforms at the start of the year and keep buying during the year too as and when the need arises. However, now that the school has changed the uniform, I cannot use the sets which my son already has. The school has also changed the PE uniform,” another parent said.

While a lot of outlets have launched promotions for stationery, a comparison of prices showed an increase of about ten per cent.

“Stationery prices have increased by 10-15 per cent due to increase by suppliers for various reasons,” said a book shop owner, on condition of anonymity.

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