CAIRO: Parents of children attending the Private Deutsche Schule Kairo (PDSK), part of the Dr. Nermein Ismail Schools (NIS) system, are planning to sue the school by the end of June after it was stripped of its certification in March by the Zentralstelle für Das Auslandsschulwesen (ZFA), the German Center for Schools Abroad, parents told The Cairo Post.
Families paid tuition fees of between 32,000-42,875EGP on the understanding that the school was fully accredited by the ZFA abroad, as advertised on the school’s website and promotional materials.
According to the Rahn Dittrich Group, a private consulting firm hired by NIS to assist it in meeting international standards, the school ignored warnings by the ZFA and the group told parents in a March 11 letter that “Dr. Nermien did not seriously intend to develop PDSK into an officially acknowledged German school abroad.”
RDG also said that the ZFA reached the same conclusion, and informed the school in a Feb. 7 letter that they were immediately withdrawing their endorsement, “meaning PDSK is not entitled anymore to use the official name German School Abroad.”
Dr. Nermein Ismail, who owns several international schools in Egypt, was asked by the ZFA to apply its education standards to the PDSK and had been meeting with the foreign office in Berlin since 2013.
“I sought to educate my children in a German school based on the promise of Dr. Nermein Ismail’s administration to provide a German secondary certificate that would qualify high school graduates to enroll immediately into German universities. We have paid a fortune,” one parent, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The Cairo Post. The parent added that the school had promised to provide International Baccalaureate certification as well.
School officials at the PDSK refused multiple requests for comment over the phone.
According to PDSK’s website, the school opened in 2005 with 54 students, and had 420 students in the 2012 school year. Parents, however, say that enrollment has fallen, and they estimated 200 current students.
In December 2013, a number of students at the NIS American school were prevented from taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT,) a requirement for entering most American universities. The students claimed that they had arrived early for the examination, but were barred entry by the school, and created a Facebook page accusing the school of arbitrarily denying them the opportunity to take the test.