Schools withhold results over fee arrears
Private schools in western Saudi Arabia that have withheld students’ exam results until their parents paid the due academic fees have been told that the decision was not acceptable.
“Results have to be given on time and as per the schedule,” Hamid Al Selmi, the general director of education in Makkah, said. “There are no excuses to put the results on hold, even if the issue is related to fees. We will be in contact with whoever takes such measures,” he said, quoted by local news site Sabq on Thursday.
According to sources, the schools resorted to withholding the results to put pressure on parents who had failed to honour their financial pledges with them.
Going through official channels to resolve the dispute could take a long time and might complicate matters, they said.
Online comments supported the action by the schools, saying that it was unfair of the parents not to pay the fees on time.
“I do not particularly appreciate such actions by private schools, but there was no other option,” Desperate Saudi Woman, a blogger, posted on the site. “It is their basic right to receive the fees on time as they have several financial obligations. Parents who want to show off socially by sending their children to private schools should be forced to pay,” she wrote.
Minawi, another blogger, said that he felt sorry for the children, but accepted the schools’ point of view.
“It hurts the children emotionally as they want to receive their certificate and get ready for the summer,” he wrote. “However, what options does the school have to make sure it receives the money? Parents who opt to send their children to private schools should think carefully about such situations. Those who cannot afford the fees should opt for public schools.”
Abu Shahoodi said that the education officials should not put pressure on private schools to give the students their results.
“In this case, they should pay the schools because no-body else will,” he posted.
Several users said that schools should demand their dues in the beginning of the academic year.
“This will mean that those who cannot afford to pay will not be allowed to keep their children there,” No Problem, a blogger, posted.