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High private school fees are an obstacle — parents

Public school students walk home. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Parents contend that they are reluctant to enroll their children in private schools because of their high tuition.

While urging owners of private schools to lower their fees for children to get a better quality of education, they admitted that transferring their children to public schools was not their best option.اضافة اعلان

Um Khalid, a mother of four children at the primary level, told Jordan News that she moved two of her four children to public schools “because I could not afford to pay the fees of private schools for all four“.

“School expenses were not limited to the tuition fees,” she said, adding that “school uniforms must be changed every two year, students need pocket money, and transportation fees.”

“These are financial burdens that strain the parents’ pockets,” she explained.

Head of the Syndicate of Private School Owners Munther Al-Sourani told Jordan News that “the rise in school premiums was never an obstacle to Jordanian families”. That was a reference to the deteriorating finances of many Jordanians in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, when business activity came to a virtual standstill. Subsequently, inflation, unemployment, and poverty rose.

Sourani pointed out that the disparity in the value of school premiums was clear “so that each family could determine the appropriate school it can afford for its children, according to its monthly income.”

He added that “private schools have substantial financial obligations, some of which may amount to the option of closure because of the inability to sustain, or meet their obligations.”

He asserted that “there should be government cooperation with private school owners, to offer them some incentives such as tax exemption, especially since private school owners incur many financial obligations, and this forces them to increase fees to be able to pay their obligations.”

This year, a number of private schools introduced discounts to “encourage parents to enroll their children in private schools,” he said.

He said several private schools took into account the “difficult economic conditions experienced by parents, especially those with more than one child”.

Mervat Mustafa, director of a private school in Amman, told Jordan News that “some people think that we make a lot, but in recent years, we were forced to borrow from banks to be able to pay our financial obligations.”

“Private schools are like any institutions, with profits and losses,” she said. “To improve the quality of the educational service, money must be spent.”

Abu Fares, a father of three, told Jordan News, that he is satisfied that all his children are in private schools. “Despite the higher fees, it’s not a financial burden for me since my monthly income is high,” he said.

 “I have no problem paying more for my children’s education,” he declared. “I believe that what I pay today is an investment in my children for a better future.”

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