An additional fee ranging from QR700-1,200 per student per annum has become a thorny issue between the parents and the management of a Doha school, which calls the charge optional but mandatory "for all students continuing the academic year 2018-19".
Several parents of DPS- Modern Indian School told Gulf Times the management is blocking access to online academic resources to students who have not paid the fee .
Efforts by Gulf Times to get a response from the school failed.
According to one of the parents, the school discontinued some of the additional fee collected until last year as per the directives of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. "But it has started a new fee called Optional Fee." The once –a- year fee ranges from QR 700 to QR 1,200 for students from KG to Class 12.
The school has issued a letter of undertaking asking the parents if they ‘voluntarily agree to pay’ the fee or ‘do not agree to pay’. The circular also highlighted the additional facilities that will be offered to students who are willing to pay the ‘Optional Fee’.
“Though called Optional Fee, it has been made mandatory," one of the parents said, adding the school will be collecting millions of riyals every year this way. "This is really shocking. How can you make an optional fee mandatory and in that case what is the purpose of asking the consent of the parents?” asked another parent.
“Moreover, my children were blocked from accessing assignments as well as study materials available on the school website. The deadline for paying the fee is May 15 and the school was not willing to wait until this date."
" However", he said " Tuesday we have seen a circular on the school website stating that the students will be allowed to access the online resources until May 15, the last date for paying the first term fee and other additional fees” .
Another parent said that it is a huge burden for parents as they are forced to shell out a lot of money and it is all the more burdensome if you have more than one child studying in the school. “Moreover, most of the services other than online study materials are not beneficial to most of the students. The school management is making a huge amount of money through such fees,” he added.
"Whatever services are offered for students who are willing to pay the optional fee should be available to students as part of the normal support provided by the school management and at no additional cost," the parents opined.
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