No changes to CHMS KB fees

National 2 minutes, 4 seconds

BELAIT

CHUNG Hua Middle School in Kuala Belait (CHMS KB) continues to defy increased operating costs to offer its students a flat school fee rate which has remained unchanged for over 10 years.

CHMS's Kuala Belait principal told The Brunei Times yesterday that the school has no plans to immediately raise its flat school fee rate of $132 per month or $1,320 annually from Kindergarten up to Year 11 thanks to the hard won efforts of the school's management.

“The reason why we have been able to keep the school fee rate the same despite increased living and operating costs really comes down to the school’s fund-raising efforts and generosity of the board of directors and the community we serve,” said Hong Geok Cheng.

Their counterparts in the capital, managed and operated independently of CHMS KB, raised their fees effective this year to help resolve the school's deficit of its expenditures exceeding its income.

“The financial situation (CHMS KB and CHMS BSB) might not be exactly the same, but that does not mean we have not had to face our own challenges as well,” she said.

With living costs generally increasing over the years, the principal said maintenance costs and teachers' salaries have also needed to be adjusted accordingly – but the school has bucked the trend to continue to offer an over decade old school fee.

“It is within the school's goal to make education accessible and available for all, so the management and the board of directors will do all they can to keep fees down for as long as (sustainably) possible,” said Hong.

CHMS KB welcomed just over 100 new students this year, bringing 2016's new student population to approximately 1,022, which the principal said is more or less the same number of students from the previous year.

The school is also continuing its discounted fees scheme for students from less fortunate backgrounds, which offered over 30 students last year a 50 per cent discount in school fees.

“Applications for the discounted fees will open this month, and we are targeting to help about the same number (between 30 to 40) of students.

The discounts are currently limited to one student per family, and are approved after a background check by the school,” said Hong.

She also noted that Muslim students exceeded 50 per cent of Year One students this year, a first for the school. Hong said Muslim parents' registering were keen on their children learning an extra language and were attracted by the school's discipline and recently renovated facilities.

The Brunei Times