Posted by: Pradeep | June 6, 2010

Who is responsible to society in this material world?

Circa January 2009, one of the private school operators decided to breach the faith put in his one of the schools by 2000+ Indian parents over years. The operator decided to implement two phase tuition fee hike totaling to 90% (initially decided to implement 110% with y-o-y rise of 45% each); that unjust decision in trying economic times (well recession in Dubai had just started with airports and airlines doing brisk business due to constant job losses and halt in construction sector leaving hundreds of thousands of labor jobless and then homeless) was enough apart from high handed attitude shown by the school operator to start a silent resistance to unwarranted burden on parents.

The issue never got resolved in favor of most important pillars of education system … the parents. It was one sided decision meant to support only “so called” investment in sector by private businessman. The state doesn’t offer any opportunity to expatriate community to get educated in schools operated by state agencies.

Group of parents did kept working and eventually got one existing operator turn to them offering helping hand with 60% lower fees with same / or better facilities. Other operator jumped on to the bandwagon and got his school up and running in record time (1 academic year ahead of his planned schedule otherwise) at 30% lower fees.

The lesson learned is monopoly is always bad for society. But then where does state responsibility come in such important sectors like energy, education, infrastructure etc.? UAE doesn’t have any tax on incomes but has fees for everything one needs to live; so why not state offer education…charge for it; leaving in private hands is not good for states too in long run…economics proves that.

Recently same operator arm twisted parents again with increasing fees when one state agency refused approval the other agency approved it. Why only one particular operator is being favored? Are teachers only few schools need salary hike or is it that only this particular operator has costs not coming down (mind well rentals in Dubai have fallen by 50% at least in all areas, and rentals form major cost of operation in a school).

Somewhere I feel there is lack of responsibility which is causing this unwarranted issues in society. Resigned on thinking here!

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