We do hope all of you are well and able to get a break in these difficult times. Although we all understand the government was rightly hesitant in re-opening cafes and restaurants, their decision to allow clubs to open must make a huge difference to so many families. Although the children must be incredibly frustrated by now, we do hope and pray they will be sensible.
As we are now approaching the end of June we wanted to bring you up-to-date on two issues:
- The re-opening of school in September.
Sadly, there is not much to report as in fairness, whilst there is speculation, neither the Ministry nor ourselves know what situation the country will be in by that time.
The best option for all of us is of course, a full re-opening and we accept that we will have to have all sorts of precautions in hand and be very careful.
The worst option for us (and you) would be a hybrid-system where half the class comes on Sunday and Monday, everyone goes on-line on Tuesday, and the other half come on Wednesday and Thursday. In the meantime, teachers are supposed to provide on-line work for all the students as and when they are not there. We’re not sure when the teachers would find the time to sleep……….! How you as parents can help and support and manage your own lives is also difficult to imagine.
- School fees for 20-21.
We had hoped to have a final package completed this month but we have not been able to finalise it as we are still working with the Ministry of Education to finalise the fees. There are obviously many unknown factors and variables.
What we can say is as follows:
- We promised in a previous letter that we would negotiate bus fees and we have fulfilled that and intend to credit bus users with EGP3500 next year. Parents should be aware however, that should schools be required to practise social distancing, the school buses would need to be split (essentially doubling the number of buses we hire) which will affect prices.
- In terms of next year’s fees, let us firstly reassure you that the speculation that the school will price hike by 20% is simply not true. Fees will not go down, but we know in these difficult times that we have to be reasonable and moderate to cover the expenses of the school and the cost to parents.
As a business, schools are in a very strange situation. We somehow have to plan our costs and fees for at least 15 months in advance from June in the current year to August the following year and then, if something changes, like a pandemic, we are not allowed to adjust our prices as would happen in any other business. Airlines, the oil industry, retailers, suppliers and even government change prices almost on a daily basis – we can’t, so predicting what will happen without the right to adjust fees in the midst of a crisis is frankly a nightmare.
In an effort to try and support parents we have introduced on-line payments and on-line payment facilities. We are obviously sympathetic and welcome parents who may wish to talk to us to see how we can help. All International Schools are in the same dilemma, so we will publish the fees just as soon as we realistically can.
We hope this gives you at least an idea of costs next year.
With best wishes,