Riyadh: High fees at private schools in Saudi Arabia have forced over three lakh expatriate students to quit them because their parents cannot afford it, according to a report.
"Most expat students are only allowed to study at private schools. Government schools do not accept expat students these days. However, these private schools are charging over USD 6,500 a year. Many parents cannot afford this," Malek Al-Ghamdi, an education researcher, was quoted as saying by Arab News.
International schools have increased their fees by 20 to 30 percent this year, which has forced parents to withdraw their children. Some of them have said the fees have increased by $800, while quality has not improved.
One parent said he recently asked officials at a local school why they were raising their fees. "I was told that all schools are doing it these days. Some people even borrow money to pay for the high tuition fees," he said.
The kingdom's Education Ministry had approved a system of governing tuition fees at private schools based on the school building, facilities and education services.
A committee, headed by Director General of Private and Foreign Education Muhammad Esa Al-Otaibi, classified each school and determined tuition fees.
Adel Hassan, an Egyptian resident who has three sons studying at a private school, said he pays over USD 4,500 extra a year for his children's education.
He said he is struggling to pay the fees and called on the Saudi government to monitor schools.