GEMS schools bus fees increase

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GEMS schools bus fees increase

Postby shawarma » 19 Mar 2009, 12:13

GEMS schools have announced outsourcing bus transport for students at some schools, and the bus company will increase transport fees. Some schools will have bus services cancelled. The fees increases and cancellations are (information from Khaleej Times report 02 March 2009):

American Academy Abu Dhabi - bus transport cancelled
Cambridge International School - cancelled
Our Own English High School Abu Dhabi - fees increased from AED 150 to 300 and AED 250 to 330 dhs
Our Own English High School Al Ain - fees increase of 42-95%
Our Own English High School Fujairah - fees increase of 42-95%
Our Own English High School Sharjah - fees increase 105% (or 150%-190% to AED 250-440 per month according to Xpress4me report)
Sharjah Boys' Branch (is this part of OOEHS?) fees increase 105%

For the Abu Dhabi OOEHS, that means the new transport fees are about the same as the tuition fees (AED 250-350 per month or AED 2400-3500 per year for 2008-2009). The story was followed up in the Gulf News 16 March 2009, and Xpress4me 19 March 2009 about the Sharjah fees hike, There was a press release dated 17 or 18 March 2009 (unclear from where) with some comments from disgruntled parents (seem to be a lot of them around with students at GEMS schools - see the recent Dubai MHS fees increase story, and there was the November 2006 GEMS fees increase that rocked a few parents also). The Sharjah OOEHS parents are organising a meeting to discuss the fees hike:

Location: Near Loulou Beach Resort Ground, ahead of Sharjah Grand Hotel, Sharjah port/beach road.
Date: Friday 20 March 2009
Time: from 19:00 (5pm)

After GEMS group managed Modern high school Dubai and Indian High School Abudhabi, parents of Our Own English School Sharjah (OOES-SHJ) have also join hands to protest steep hike in transportation fees in the name of outsourcing and have called for support from all GEMS Group managed school across UAE.

Comments reported in the press release included:

  • We all know that Bright Bus Service is owned by Sunny Varkey Group, and Capt. M.L. Augustine who is Managing Director of this is one of the members of management board of Sunny Varkey group. This whole plot has been planned in an organized manner to fool all parents as the website of this transport company clearly says it is registered only last year June 2008. Assuming if it not his own company how can he outsource to one year new company when there are many other professional transport companies” - a parent
  • This is the same Capt. M.L. Augustine who was with Capt. O.P. Parmar who were on interview panel of GEMS Executive board, who interviewed me few years ago” - a parent and ex-teacher at a GEMS school (unnamed)
  • Such reputed educational institute should not loot parents like this in the name of School Fees and Activities fees in advance without proper breakup, and now this transportation hike, how do we parents manage this whole issue, best is to storm into schools and ask for breakup of each and every amount they collect against the actual cost incurred by them” - a parent
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