Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is BISC being ethical?

I just heard an extremely disturbing piece of news today.

It seems that the British School in Cairo (BISC) which recently moved from Zamalek to 6th October has come up with a new demand for money.

BISC normally collects students fees in British Pounds. FYI: The going rate for admissions is a one time 85,000LE (yes 3 zeroes after 85) or so. This is over and above the annual school fees which hovers around 50,000LE.

Egyptian Residents who do not work with British companies or get salaries in British Pounds have to buy British pounds to pay the fees. This means they lose some amount on conversion. Imagine the amount they would lose on converting 85K LE to GBP.

This year because the British Pound depreciated, the school has supposedly lost money by collecting fees in British Pounds. Hence although the amount collected in British Pounds was on target, it was not on target when calculating the EGP equivalent. Part of the risk of playing the currency market, you would say.

BISC does not consider this a risk that they should absorb, and hence they have asked the parents to pay the difference AS CALCULATED BY BISC as to the amount the school has supposedly lost by collecting fees in British Pounds RETROSPECTIVELY for the last year!!!

Is this Fair?

Is this Ethical?

The parents aren't saying anything because the cost of moving their child/children to another International school would mean shelling out another non-refundable sum of 85,000LE or more!

This is the story as I have pieced together from multiple reliable sources. Can any action be taken against the school? Is anyone willing to initiate the action?

Its not really MY problem as I don't have children whose education I have to worry about right now. But this was just too unethical to let it pass by unmentioned.

Opinions? Views?

Annual fee is about 85,000LE. The admission fee is lower.


Roqaya said...

honestly i think that the parents who can afford to pay this ammount of money for one school year don;t care about it at all

Anonymous said...

saw that you have written about visa issues before. heard today that 4 teachers/staff at CAC have were refused authorization for contracts by educational authorities with no reason stated. what on earth is going on?

Kim said...

For a lot of expats, their company sponsors the schooling admission fee, so I guess that makes it affordable for them.

But I also think that they are stuck because switching costs are so high!

Kim said...

no clue at all about the CAC visa issue

i will be always here .....4 u said...

Even if their company sponsers the admission fees the fees are still way very expensive relative to the other private school so I kind of agree with Roqaya..But the point is that it still unethical even if the parents could afford this.

But I guess you are hanging out in specific circles of certain class of Egyptians so this situation sparked you to blog about but if you dig deeper in the Egyptian society you will see what really astonishes you !which makes presenting and discussing such problem may piss off the street man..I'm not suggesting for you to dig deeper I'm just telling you that there are another problems that ranked way higher than this one..

i will be always here .....4 u said...

Very nice blog..Keep up the good work.

Kim said...


I heard about this problem through expats, not local Egyptians. I know a lot of Egyptians, but most of them send their children to more affordable schools.

As an expat, I write about topics related to expats and tourists to the country.

I am here for a short while as a guest of this country and do not expect to change anything.

The target audience of my blog is expats and giving them information that can help them transition and adjust better.

There is so much happening in this country that one person cannot explore it all or even begin to understand the multiple layers of complexities.

so yes there are bigger problems out there, but I'm no social scientist trying to correct the ills of humankind. I just write what I feel qualified to write about.

"Street man" as you call it has the choice of reading my blog or not :)

i will be always here .....4 u said...

Yes I realised that you are adressing the foreigns and trying to pass on your experience in here in Egypt and I believe this is so cool..Your choice of topics also is nice ..I was laughing like crazy when I saw the one of the "squat toilet" and felt like I owe you apology..You know what?We Egyptians also owe you this mannual you are trying to put to help people coming to Egypt..If my studying at the college was a little easier ,I would start a similar blog..Maybe one day I will..But it is way more better when it is written by a foreigner cuz he can see what my eyes used to..I guess it is not a big deal for you if you run into an elephant at the morning!but for me it will be the first time in my life..You can make it a book and sell it abroad:)

Kim said...

Thank you for the compliments :)

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