Schools shut for charging fees illegally

The Ministry of Education has shut down 129 private and international schools and slapped fines on several others in the wake of reports of a number of violations of the ministry’s regulations.

According to sources, the violations involved imposing registration fees and other fees on parents without the authorization of the ministry.

The ministry also discovered other violations of administrative, financial and technical regulations in some of these schools.

The ministry’s steps constitute a serious effort in controlling irregularities by private and international schools, particularly in terms of raising school fees.

Mubarak Al-Osaimi, spokesman for the Education Ministry, said his ministry issued orders to close 17 foreign schools during this academic year, and suspended the activity of three others for a whole year. “Fines were imposed on another nine schools,” he added.

“The closure included 12 private schools, and punitive measures were imposed on 88 private schools which were in violation of the Ministry’s regulations,” he explained, pointing out that these steps stemmed from the ministry’s concern for quality and the soundness of the education process in private and international schools across the Kingdom.

He confirmed that the announcement ensures that private and international schools are strictly committed to the ministry’s controls and regulations in a way that guarantees the quality of work and the implementation of the sanctions against errant schools.

Sources said the ministry will publish the approved fee structure for all private and foreign schools on the websites of 45 education departments across the regions and governorates of the country in the coming days to ensure transparency and facilitate matters for parents.

The Education Ministry stressed that it will strictly monitor the compliance of private and foreign schools with the approved fees, taking into account the best interests of students enrolled in these schools.

The ministry also said it will apply the stipulated sanctions on any school found in violation of its directions and regulations, adding that its policy of transparency will make all the data and regulations clear to the private education sector.

About 1,537 private and foreign schools in all the education departments across the Kingdom are awaiting the ministry’s decision on the new fees structure as these schools had filed requests to the ministry in this regard.

The general directorate of education in Riyadh has promised parents that they will get a refund on the extra fees they paid. It called on parents to report any vilation or irregularities in this regard, emphasizing the importance and clarity of the contract signed between the school and the parent, mainly in terms of the financial obligations between the sides.

Saleh Al-Tarif, director of the foreign and private education department, said his department wants to make sure that the contract between the two parties — the school and the parent — is clear and fully understood by both.





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