Forty-two private primary schools and several others under the government’s direct subsidy scheme are seeking tuition fee increases in the current academic year, Apple Daily reported Friday.
The adjustments range from less than 7 percent for 25 schools to 40 percent for Rosebud Primary School in Tsuen Wan.
Fifteen schools have applied to raise their fees between 7.1 percent and 20 percent, the report said.
Rosebud Primary School will start charging HK$50,000 (US$6,450) a year from HK$35,000 if its application is approved.
Director Congar Ibrahim Erdem said the school was forced to increase its fees after its landlord raised the monthly rent 20 percent to HK$140,000 this year.
Although the lease will not expire until next year, Erdem said the rent could increase again. The school has asked the Education Bureau to allow it move into a vacant school site.
Erdem said the school will localize its international curriculum to cope with a tough operating environment. The move is expected to improve its chances of being allocated a school site by the government, he said.
The proposed increases will make ISF Academy Primary School the most expensive with annual tuition fees of HK$154,000, overtaking Harrow International School Hong Kong. ISF is seeking an 11.6 percent increase.
Schools under the direct subsidy scheme are keeping fees unchanged, including St. Paul’s Co-Educational Primary School which charges HK$60,000 a year, the most expensive in its category.
HKUGA Primary School has increased its fees by 16.7 percent, the highest percentage among direct subsidy schools, to HK$24,500 a year. St. Margaret’s Co-Educational English Secondary and Primary School is now charging HK$38,000 a year, up 14.6 percent.
Lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, who represents the education constituency, said the proposed increases are higher than the consumer price index and urged the Education Bureau to require an explanation from the school operators.
Meanwhile, the bureau said schools should follow the proper procedures in applying for such increases.
Direct subsidy schools are required to set aside 10 percent of school fees for remission and scholarship while private schools factor in teacher salaries, inflation and school maintenance costs, it said.
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