Having fought against the Government’s introduction of the value added tax on private school fees and getting the government to withdraw the tax, parents of children who attend the Mae’s private school now appear to have an even bigger problem on their hands.
The parents have formed themselves into a group to raise concern over the school’s decision to increase fees ranging from 14% to 42%.
The group of 172 parents in a statement said they were left shocked when just before the close of school for the easter vacation, they received notices from the school informing them of the new fees which will take effect when school reopens.
Parents of children attending the school’s playgroup will now face a 42% increase in the fees per term, which will jump from $35,000 to $50,000.
The school’s nursery department will attract a 35% increase from $45,000 to $60,000 per term, while those children in Grades One to Four will face an increase in their fees by 25% as that will jump from the current $60,000 to $75,000.
The parents of children preparing for the common entrance exams will have to do some extra math as the school fee will be increased from $70,000 to $80,000 per term. The new fees include $20,000 for extra lessons.
Parents are fuming that the increases have been announced with no proper explanation and they want a justification for the increases. They are not happy with what has been told to them so far.
“The response given was that their costs to do business have increased as well as the challenge of hiring teachers who are both motivated and experienced, in addition to overall operational costs. However, there is no mention of the direct improvement to the school’s existing facilities such as poor ventilation and washroom facilities”, the parents complained.
The group said that while many parents are not against a reasonable raise in the fees, they are very angry at “the excessively high percentage”.
They said the school could have increased the fees over a period of time starting from below 14% to cushion the effects.
One parent said “I understand this is a business and a lucrative one might I add…at the exploitation of us working class parents…I don’t disagree with the raise ….what I disagree with is the outright robbery bestowed upon us…many of us have not had an increase in our salary and do not anticipate same in the future”.
According to the parents, “ironically, the administration of Mae’s Schools stood with parents who were against 14% VAT on Education last year but are now adding more than double that burden to the shoulders of parents”.
The Mae’s School has not budged from its position.