Egypt Independent

BBC International School reports indefinite closure after next semester, parents furious



BBC International School in Egypt has released a statement announcing that this school year will be their final one 32 years since the school was established, citing financial losses over the past five years as the key reason for shutting down activities.

“We were against raising the tuition fees, we preferred carrying the burden of any additional costs on us, rather than on the parents,” the statement said, while pointing out that other schools’ decision to raise their tuition fees by 60-70 percent was the “right thing to do.”

Many parents, however, are demanding swift interference by Egypt’s Ministry of Education.

“How can we find a proper replacement, at the same financial and educational level, which would admit 600 students at once on such short notice? Are we supposed to react to the closure of a school as nonchalantly as we would when a store shuts down without considering the students’ future which is tied to the establishment?” some of the parents said to Al-Masry Al Youm.

Parents further noted that they were not the ones in charge of putting up the curriculum, deciding on the expenses and the school’s level of services.

“The school decided on everything and we, as parents, decided to agree on such criteria and put our children to that school. How can a school take a major decision that affects the futures of more than 600 students all of a sudden, after we trusted them with our kids,” one parent said.

“This move can harm our kids both psychologically, and on an educational level. Will our ministry of education give the green light for a private school to take an unprecedented step like this one?”

Last week, the school’s administration sent the parents a follow-up statement, noting that BBC International School will become unaccredited after the graduation of this year’s seniors, reaffirming the school’s indefinite closure.

“We all agreed on the 30 percent increase of the school’s tuition between 2012-2014. We now pay a tuition ranging between LE45,000-50,000, excluding bus fees and the school uniforms. We were fine by that and no one opposed the decision when it was implemented,” another parent said. They added that the school’s administration never asked for another tuition raise, denying the school’s claims that there were negotiations.

In September, Egypt’s Ministry of Education took action to control private and international schools’ rising fees for the academic year 2017/18.

The measures included controlling the increased fees of international schools to 14 percent for new and old students for the academic year 2017/2018, and then, seven percent annually.

According to the Ministry’s new measures, the educational directorates are committed to monitoring private and international schools to ensure the fees of the school uniforms go unchanged. Schools are prohibited to increase bus fees above 10 percent.

Private and International schools which violate the Ministry’s measures will be warned and notified to remove the violations.