UAE legal Q&As: School fees and all payments must be totally transparent

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Q: I am the father of a boy in fourth grade. Every once in a while, we parents are requested to pay fees that are not on the lists provided by the Ministry of Education. What should I do and what does the law say about such fees, which are imposed upon parents without the knowledge or the approval of the ministry?

A: No private school in the country operates without a licence and their activities are subject to supervision and control by the authorities. Tuition fees are set before the beginning of the academic year but some schools proceed, in one way or another, to collect in-kind or cash donations that are not fees but, rather, are optional. If a guardian thinks that such donations constitute any breach or is forced to pay them, he should contact the education zone and report such action immediately.

Q: If I have a dispute with a person and they deliberately hurt themselves, obtain a medical report and go to police claiming that I was the one who assaulted and injured them, what can I do to prove my innocence or, failing to do so, what charge could be brought against me and what sanctions could be imposed?

A: According to the general principles of law, the burden of proof falls upon the plaintiff; hence, even if the person's claims and the medical report prove that an injury has occurred, the person still has to prove that it was caused by you. You can then deny any involvement and try to prove that you were elsewhere at the time of the incident or prove the invalidity of the accusation through witnesses. All the evidence will be considered by police and prosecutors, who will decide whether charges will be placed against you. If they go ahead, the charge would be physical assault, punishable by virtue of Article 339 of the Penal Code, which states that "anyone who physically assaults another person in any manner shall be punished by imprisonment and by a fine if the assault results in his illness or the inability to perform his personal work for a period of 20 days. If the result of the assault is less serious than the aforementioned, the period of imprisonment shall not exceed one year and the fine not more than Dh10,000".

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