It seems that the GEMS – KHDA confrontation is heating up. This is certainly an interesting development that could spur constructive outcomes.
I tend to see the point that both are making. Intervention ? or regulation ? This is going to be covered by the magazine very soon.
Not having an authority intervening in private schooling “business” and letting the market force its rule is certainly desirable. But that can only be achieved when you do not have a flagrant abuse of certain, obviously temporary, market conditions. Had there not been an abuse of fee structuring, there would not have been a need for intervention.
I shall explain this point for clarity.
In the time of Dubai’s stellar boom, practically all schools followed a fee structure that was more in line with highest profit margin than with sustained, long-term growth. Had these schools offered a good balance of education to cost, they would not have raised the need for a governing body to intervene. The high demand for schools, generated by the high rate of population influx into the country, was what permitted those schools to command the fees that they have.
It would not be accurate to say that these schools were not providing some justification for those fees. State-of-the-art facilities, qualified teaching bodies, accreditation, and then some. But it would also be very difficult to completely discard the feeling that the thought was more geared towards what can justify fees rather than the other way around.
The MEE shall closely monitor this situation and its developments. Stay tuned.