Move to keep Westminster School running Dhanusha Gokulan / 19 April 2013 GEMS Education has re-started negotiations with Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) to keep the British curriculum school Westminster open following pressure from the student and parent community, The group had announced that Westminster, which currently houses 5,000 students, would shut down in 2014. However, GEMS announced on Thursday that they were in talks with the private school regulators KHDA to keep the school open. An official spokesperson for GEMS said: “We have made an application to the KHDA to keep the school open. GEMS has acknowledged the tremendous passion shown by the student and parent body to keep the school running.” For now, the spokesperson said that they are waiting to hear from the authorities. GEMS announced the school’s closure in December 2012 citing reasons that it was no longer feasible to keep the school running at an annual fee structure of Dh10,000. Student body members of Westminster have been tirelessly campaigning on social media networks. Bushra Ali, an alumni of the school and active member of the student body said: “This is very positive news for us. For now things are still very unclear, but we are hopeful and we are hoping for the best. It should all probably work out for the best.” Ali added: “I think the online campaigning helped our case tremendously. We did go all-out since December and the purpose was not to raise havoc. The school is really good and it does not seem like a feasible idea to close the school down, because it would lead to the displacement of 5,000 odd students.” Mohammed Darwish, Chief of Regulations and Compliance Commission in KHDA, in a statement to the media said: “GEMS has submitted a request to KHDA to keep Westminster School open. Bearing in mind the students’ best interests, the request is currently being looked into.” Parents and students have been insisting that the school remains open since the closure announcement was made last December. However, in March, GEMS sent the KHDA a proposal to increase fees after reaching an agreement with the parents. The majority of parents agreed to an 80 per cent fee rise spread over four years to allow the school to regain financial stability. firstname.lastname@example.org Taylor Scott International
Move to keep Westminster School running
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