GEMS announces closure of Westminster School in Dubai from 2014.

GEMS-operated Westminster School in Dubai has declared its intention to close the school with effect from June 2014. It has informed KHDA and is awaiting the necessary approvals.

Dino Varkey, the Group Executive Director at GEMS Education, informed parents that it is unable to invest resources because of the low fee structure and the KHDA policy that restricts upward revision.  The school has raised fees at the rate of Dhs 167 per year over the last 5 years which it finds unsustainable to fund the school and make improvements in the quality of education.

“We simply cannot offer a high quality education at this level that we see as our duty to provide. Indeed, salary increases during the same period have been at a level higher than any fee awards.  Sadly and with regret, it is therefore, our intention to close The Westminster School Dubai with effect from June 2014. KHDA has provided the necessary approvals,” states the circular.

Parents are scrambling to seek admission in other schools.  Incidentally GEMS is the largest school operator in the region and therefore it is hard to digest that it has been forced to close the school for financial reasons.  Perhaps the school is using another of its time-tested tricks to compel parents to agree to a substantial fee hike.

The school had earlier relocated its Modern High School from the Jumeirah location citing problems with the landlord on account of the rent increase of its leased property. The school, quite coincidentally moved to its very own swanky premises in the Nad al Sheba area justifying a hefty fee hike.

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