Update on Benjamin’s school

So we went for the 2nd assessment for Benjamin. We were greeted at the school entrance by a lady at the registration office who called him by his name. She knows his name! I was surprised by this. Then they asked us to wait for a few minutes.

A middle aged man came holding a folder and showed us the way to his office. He is the school’s resident speech and behavior therapist/guidance counselor. Whoa. Hard core. After a few minutes of explaining to us about the procedure, we left Benjamin in the room with him.

We did not see our son for the next 40 minutes or so.

I was pacing back and forth outside the room. I can hear my son interacting with the school personnel and I’m glad he’s not crying. But my God, 40 minutes was so long.

The session ended and when they came out, he ushered us to go down to the Infant and foundation stage room, he spoke to someone there and said, “Congratulations! We think your child is ready!”

I felt so relieved. Benjamin will be able to attend kindergarten this September. My school hunt is now done. Or so I thought?

“Ma’am, you can now proceed to the Accounts Department to pay the fees.”

Fees…what? It is only February now and Benjamin won’t be starting school till more than half a year later! We went to the Accounts Department anyway to get the “payment schedule”.

There we faced another challenge.

The base tuition in the website shows AED17,000 (US$4,600) as annual fee for KG2 that’s why I chose that school because somehow, we could manage that. But then there were add-ons like uniform for AED850 (!), bus fees and the total school fees ballooned to AED26,000. We need to issue 4 cheques: CURRENT dated, August 2015, January 2017 and April 2017.

I repeat, school doesn’t start till September 2016, 7 months from now.

*****

Some might say, the fee I mentioned above is actually cheaper than “Dubai standard” (whatever that means) but for us, it’s not cheap at all. And even if we can afford it, I don’t think it’s worth it. Actually, I’ve been having a lot of second thoughts about so many things, some solutions would require very big life changing decisions.

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