Thursday, 5 March 2009

Criminal Schooling

It has been in the news for last couple of months. The issue of a school in Dubai, which raised its fee structure to more than 90 percent and the parents' ongoing agitation over it and the various outcry which followed it.

The institution belongs to Sunny Varkey, owner of the GEMS group of schools, which run around 30 schools in UAE alone, including some upcoming ones, apart from multi-speciality hospitals and other things.

They have arbitrarily raised the fees in almost all their schools and raised it to astounding levels in this particular school. And naturally, the parents are agitated. No wonder. The reason cited for the rise is that this school would be relocated to a more spacious location and with more amenities. Education of course implies basic amenities, everywhere, but definitely it is not amenities that count, but rather, education, itself, for which GEMS and its schools were and are always way behind. But in pickpocketing the parents, there were and are in the forefront. This Sunny Varkey, incidentally was one of the recipients of Padmasri, a top civilian honour bestowed by Government of India to, mostly their most favoured pied pipers. Exceptions do occur sometimes.

According to the new structure introduced, over a period of two years starting from 2009, a KG 1 student who presently pays AED 14,094 per annum would end up paying AED 26,770 p.a. and a student who is in his/her matriculation trauma, would have to pay AED 35,920 in place of the present tuition fees of AED 18,908/-.

KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority), the authority supervising the educational policies and matters of Dubai had been acting blind towards GEMS and their schools, for a long period. Even when last year when, KHDA had set 16% fee limit for schools in Dubai, and that too under strict conditions, GEMS had managed to sidestep it under many pretences and the fee hike was initiated by none other than GEMS, noted for their greed and stubborn profit motives. Dubai rulers have a soft corner towards this instituion, as some of them themselves were products of GEMS' parent school long back during 60s, and had gained their education from Varkey's aprents for a humble fees of 25 indian rupees. But that does'nt give a school or anyother institution to bypass law and launch daylight robbery as per one's own whims. Now, yesterday KHDA had come up with a ruling that it " refused an arbitrary increase in tuition fees by Dubai Modern High School if it decided to stay on in the current premises". This method would suit a police justifying or abetting a robber, rather than a state educational authority responsible for the future of children. It would be more better if KHDA stops this educational regulating business once for all and dive into Dubai's more lucrative business, that is real estate, another synonym for utter greed and manipulation. Perhaps KHDA allowed all this mess for the 27 million US$, which Varkey had pledged for Dubai Care programme. Art of favouring each other.

Now, come to parents. I cannot stand with them either. When good education on a much cheaper fees level is available in the Emirates, they chose the most expensive one befitting their own snobbish class character. They wanted their children to be different from others. Of course, no harm in that. Every parent secretly cherish that stupidity. But these parents thought that, paying more money for their education would make them and their kids a different breed. Yes, it would. As misfits. They never bother to learn that expensive education seldom make bright students. Social exclusiveness beget other more awkward things in young minds. If they can afford to pay one hundred thousand dirhams (convert it to our poor rupee) for 2 kids per annum, then why not they pay much more? In return, their kids might get a more hygenic swimming pool or a golf club or a racing course even minus what the one thing what they were sent for.

Padmasri crooks gets away with their daily plunder, fat-salaried snobberies wail over their minor losses and authorities look the other way. A global festival scenario for us, the Dubaites. Meanwhile the great questions of social responsbility of education, governments duties, deplorable mis-ethics of building-up two type of future citizens and etc. remain unanswered, uncared.


Blogger Rajeeve Chelanat said...

ക്രിമിനല്‍ വിദ്യാഭ്യാസം

6 March 2009 at 18:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Dubai Government started Dubai Care programe, sunny Varkey donated 100 Million Dirhams to that fund. Now he is trying to recover that money from Dubai itself and dont expect Dubai government say any thing against the fee hike.

9 March 2009 at 09:00  
Blogger പ്രിയ said...

even the transportation expenses also increased for the kids in our own schools. some parents shifted their children to other schools. (getting admission in schools like indian school, are one of the nightmares of many parents :) And some indian school's standard is poor. thats y indian(especially keralite) parents prefer their kids to be in GEMS.

(Dubai Care, that time i hadn't found any school kid with out that 20 Dhs Coupon)

16 March 2009 at 10:39  
Blogger പ്രിയ said...

"And some indian school's standard is poor. " i meant the some schools with indian syllabus,not the 'Indian School'

(confusion.. confusion:)

16 March 2009 at 10:41  
Blogger Rajeeve Chelanat said...

Thanks for the comments.

Anony, there is not yet any confirmation that GEMS had actually paid the money. As far as I know, they have done only a namesake payment.


Even the educational standard of this GEMS schools are not much high and in some of their schools, the standard is very poor, without much of homework correction, quality teaching and the like. Moreover, when concerns against fast/junk food and eating habits are fast spreading, campuses of GEMS are flooded with all type of such unhealthy food courts. It would be a matter of time when they start disco clubs and pubs for children. Churning out elite hi-tech kids.


17 March 2009 at 10:09  

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