School owners refuse to shell out hefty sums for licenses

Omar Al-Amer

Saudi Gazette report

A number of private investors have accused Tatweer Education Holding Company of imposing hefty and unfair fees for renewing the licenses of private schools run by them, Al-Madina Arabic daily reported.

The fees are not legal and seem to be questionable, they said.

The investors said they were surprised when they received an email a few weeks ago from Tatweer asking each investor to pay up to SR50,000 based on the number of students on the roll for license renewal.

A number of the investors told Al-Madina daily they had no intention to pay tens of thousands riyals for a piece of printed paper confirming the renewal of their licenses.

Before Tatweer was assigned the task of renewing the school licenses, the process only required the submission of certain documents and no fee was paid.

The investors called upon the Ministry of Education to take action and put an end to Tatweer’s haphazard decisions.

The investors, at the same time, said they were ready to pay all government fees imposed by the municipalities and other agencies.

The investors claimed that Tatweer did not have any legal justification nor any right to impose such huge fees.

Khalid Al-Anazi, one of the investors, said they had asked the previous minister of education not to put Tatweer in charge of license renewal because it did not have any legal right to be so. However, the ministry went ahead and assigned the task to Tatweer, an action that had aroused the suspicion of investors.

Omar Al-Amer, chairman of the National Committee of Private Education at the Council of Saudi Chambers, said the ministry should reconsider its current partnership with Tatweer and the fees imposed by a company that does not have enough experience to provide services such as license renewal.

He suggested that ministry provide these services electronically through a high-quality service center.

Tatweer’s demands unfair, say investors