School fees to rise along with teachers' salaries
Education fees up by 30 percent in four years
Tuition fees for private schools are expected to rise again if the Cabinet issues a new salary scale for teachers this year.
Boutrous Azar, secretary general of Catholic Schools, said any rise in the teachers’ salaries will surely result in increased school fees. The rise in tuition fees varies from one school to the other based on the number of students per class in each school. Education expenses rose by 7.5 percent in 2011.
“Many schools raised their fees this year, although most of them still haven’t raised their teachers’ salaries,” said Nehme Mahfouz, president of the Private School Teachers Syndicate.
Teachers in both public and private schools are subject to the Cabinet decision on salaries. Mahfouz said schools should not increase tuition fees further this year: “Even if the salary scale was issued, the rise in salaries will be effective only after nine months from the salary scale’s approval and not during the current school year.”
Azar said that several laws raising teachers’ salaries were issued by Cabinet this year: “The cost of living wage increase adopted by the government, and law 223 that was issued in April and which gave teachers four pay rises. We have asked schools to cut other costs so that they would be able to pay teachers’ salaries if the salary scale is issued.”
Imad Al Ashkar, director of Private Education at the Ministry of Education, said: “According to law number 515, schools can’t raise students’ fees unless additional financial burdens on schools have materialized.”
In the past four years, school and university fees have increased by 30 percent, according to figures from the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS). Between 2008 and 2012, many salary increases were given to teachers. In 2008, the government increased the minimum salary along with other salaries, and elementary and secondary school teachers were given a ‘grade rise.’
Date Posted: Sep 21, 2012