Dubai: GEMS Heritage Indian School Dubai (GHS) will close down in March 2021 because of lower than expected growth in the number of students, “especially given the current pandemic”.
The CBSE-curriculum school said it has approval to close from Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
In a ‘Parent FAQs’, seen by Gulf News, GHS said, “The number of students at GHS makes it impossible for us to continue to provide the very best education. The physical size of the campus is simply not appropriate or economical for the number of students it currently serves.”
The school (located near IMG Worlds of Adventure) has 1,500 students.
GHS “will continue to operate as normal until the end of the academic year (March 2021)”, Sir Christopher Stone, Global Chief Education Officer, GEMS Education, said in a media statement.
“We are offering students of [GHS] places at a variety of CBSE and international curriculum schools with either the same or better ratings,” he added, saying the school will work closely with parents “to arrange seamless transfers to alternative schools within our network”.
The latest available KHDA rating of GHS is ‘Good’.
GHS students will be offered priority placement in a variety of CBSE and international curriculum schools that are part of the GEMS network.
Ajesh Kuniyil, a parent of a GHS grade two student said, “The school and its leadership have been outstanding and students were enjoying the school very much. The situation with COVID-19 has hammered so many areas. Parents are at least relieved they have some time, until next March, to decide what to do. Right now, it’s too early to say what we will do.”
What about fees?
The FAQs say, “We have schools at a range of fee points, including many with similar fees to those at GHS. In addition, any families that wish to transfer to GEMS New Millennium School, Al Khail in September 2020 will have their current GHS fees applied until the end of the academic year ending March 2021.”
GHS annual tuition fees range from Dh14,290 for pre-KG1 to Dh24,000 for grade 11, its website says.
The FAQs say, “In fact, for the time that the GHS campus has been open, we have been running the school at a considerable loss. This means we cannot maintain a level of investment that parents of children at a GEMS school expect and deserve. We have also had to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on every business and family in the region, and we expect this will cause growth to be even slower.”
This marks the second school closure annoucement made this month, after Rising School in Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, recently said it will close at the end of this term in July due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
FULL GEMS STATEMENT
“It is with deep regret that GEMS Education has come to the decision to suspend all educational services at GEMS Heritage Indian School in March 2021. It is a sad day for not only students, parents and teachers at GEMS Heritage Indian School, but our entire education family.
“Our commitment is, and has always been, to deliver quality learning for all. The disruption we at GEMS Education, and the entire sector, face today is entirely unprecedented. The reasons and pressures are many; and the truth is that it is incredibly difficult for anyone to predict every challenge we will face.
“The global pandemic has brought about a situation where we have had to carefully consider all options. As a result we are now having to make some extremely difficult decisions that we by no means make lightly – decisions that will enable to us to protect and safeguard the learning of thousands of students within our family, not just now, but well into the future.
“We wish to assure parents and students that GEMS Heritage Indian School will continue to operate as normal until the end of the academic year (March 2021). To ensure minimal disruption for all families, our school and parent relations teams will work very closely with parents and students to arrange seamless transfers to alternative schools within our network.
“We are offering students of GEMS Heritage Indian School places at a variety of CBSE and international curriculum schools with either the same or better ratings. It is because of our continued commitment to delivering the very best education for each child that we are able to offer this range of choices. In doing so, we hope to minimise any undue stress this announcement has caused both parents and students, and we will continue to provide support in any way possible.”
– Sir Christopher Stone, Global Chief Education Officer, GEMS Education