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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Paying For December Pre-School Fees. Norm or Overboard?

Towards the end of October last year, all the parents were asked to pay RM340 to the pre-school that Cass goes to.  That amount was for purchase of books for the first half of year 2014.

In January this year, at the start of the new school term, we parents had to pay RM1,060 for the following items:
1) January 2014 fees
2) Snacks for half the year
3) Insurance
4) Concert fees
5) Class photo
6) December 2014 fees - this is a new item to pay effective 2014. Previously, I never had to pay for December fees! Never during Alycia and Sherilyn's time at this kindy.

When I saw item no. 6, which is fees for December 2014, I was shocked. I called up the principal to get a clarification as to why I had to pay for December 2014 when (1) it is the school holidays and the child would not attend a single school day in December and (2) Cass would never have to return to the pre-school again as she will be going to Primary 1 next year.

The principal cum school owner replied me by saying that all the students MUST pay the December 2014 fees to help her pay the teachers' salaries and the rental of the school building!  Some of the teachers would still have to work to teach and care for children sent to the school's daycare program.  "But Cassandra will not return to your kindy anymore. She will go to Primary 1 next year. Do I still have to pay??" I asked.  Yes, all the parents have to pay.  At that moment, I felt like I was held ransom, with a gun at my neck and forced to pay.  I could not change kindy as Cass has been going to this kindy for 2 years already and this is her third year. She is happy at this kindy, she likes her friends and all her teachers and classmates know her health issue.  So I felt like I was forced at point blank to pay the principal.

For your information, come June, which is the third semester, we parents would have to pay in advance the fees for November.  In November, students only need to attend school for half a month, after which the 6-week long school holidays would commence.  This practice has been in place ever since Alycia attended this pre-school in 2007.  This practice serves to 'tie up' the parents and child to the kindy, so that they are unable to switch pre-school. Well, you still can switch but the November fees is non-refundable.

My question to all my dear readers -- is this practice of compelling the parents to pay the fees for December a norm?   IMHO, I think that it is still quite acceptable if the child is continuing attendance at the pre-school the following year. But for kids who will be starting Primary 1, I find this totally unacceptable.

What say you?

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