Why GEMS should keep Westminster School open

Anil Bhoyrul argues that GEMS should rethink its controversial decision


It really is time for some creative disrupters to change the dynamics of the UAE educational scene. High quality education cannot be made into a privilege that few can enjoy. I am sure a few smart brains can sit down and figure out a unique and creative model and education delivery mechanism that will send this GEMS monster into extinction like the T-Rex! Education is a right not a privilege: you can make money in education,it is a business yes, but don't mess with peoples lives in the name of profit please!


Dear Mr. Anil, Well said.... congratulations and thanks for writing the truth without looking how big they are..

My children also studying in GEMS school, I know their strategy very well for the past 10 years. Its purely a business only; not a charity work. They are collecting money from us for helping the poor children in different countries. But they are not bothered about our children. My salary is only to pay the children school fee, loan and the rent every month. My wife salary is only just to buy food and the other basic things. They have to consider the family like ours also. All humans, birds, animals will end up in final place. All should remember that, nobody can take any single penny which they earn during their life time in this wonderful world. Love each other, Help each other. Give respect to all. You will be blessed.

David Jay

GEMS should have set the base Fees higher and I am surprised that a prestigious English School such as Westminster was fooled into agreeing such a low Fee structure. Given the costs of employing Ex-Patriate teachers plus all the on-costs, it surely was never a runner in UAE.

Asif Habib

Just for your Information, this school has been here for abt 25years. It was a Pakistani School at first, I got an admission there in the year 1992, yes it is one of the cheapest schools, but Instead of closing the schools that we spent 15years of life in, why donot they discuss their requirements openly.

Asif Habib

I had like to make one just more point here, even when we know that GEMS are doing ethically and morally a wrong thing, because the parents donot want them to make huge investments on facilities, we are happy just the way it is, which can be sustained with minor or moderate fees hike.

But still GEMS is going to close down anyhow. And after that we donot have any options, we will have to seek admissions in one of their New schools, where we will be paying 100% more on the fees. Because of the supply and demand factor, as the number of school is already shorter, and with such a huge number looking for admissions now (5000), parents will be lucky to find admissions in any school at any fees.

I feel sorry for all the parents, but their does not seem to be any solution coming forward.


The biggest problem one set of parents face is to compete with another set of parents whose employers reimburse fat school fees and not pay it as a cash allowance. If this was to change the wind would vanish from GEMS sail! This arrogance of operating in a monopolistic environment cannot be ignored by authorities in something as crucial as education which unlike telecom has to be social in its outlook!


@ Navin, I agree with you that allowances are not efficient in an economic sense. And I agree that they distort, to some extent prices.
But that is a different question from your original post or a least my reading of it.
The UAE has a quite extreme income distribution, that is a fact of life here, and there is a small group of high income earners that simply distort the market for housing or education. You see the same thing in London where rental market is driven by a minority of high income professionals.

Given the prices of private education anywhere I doubt that moving from the allowance system to a plain salary one would have a serious impact. I may be wrong, we will probably never now.

But on your dislike of allowances, yes we agree wholeheartedly. I will never understand why they are so popular. I suspect people really believe it is the employer paying, not them.


@telcoguy; paying out a cash allowance instead of reimbursing reduces salaries ! Really! this is not about CTC but about letting the employee decide how he spends his earning and get value for every dollar spent and get GEMS to compete for that dollar instead of using the monopoly they have built up over the years without oversight.

I earn every bit of my income and want total control over how I spend it! And if someone else feels he needs his employers to decide how much he should be spending on his house his food his kids school fees and how much to save then he has my sympathy!

a honest mother

Out of so many schools , i am sure the gems school can have one school which is non profitable and needs help . Yes for them the school has reached its optimum capacity and is still in loss . what about the highly profitable ventures the DAA, JC, Modern high . I am sure their profits can help this school . education is not only collecting fees but time to give it back to someone more needy . How many schools in india do we know which run under the umbrella of charity and non profit . I was one of the students of your mother's school Mr . Sunny varkey and i still know her humbleness and passion for teaching free . pls be the change

Faris Khan

Amazing how UAE sems to breed "Big Heads" who talk BIG but act small. Who on this earth would trust GEMS ever again when for all they know the school could shut at anytime and leave the children stranded with gap in their education. No sir GEMS is not company to trust your childs education to.


another solution is that, parents who willing to work as part time teachers can be employed by the school with a subsidary. this will help the school as well as maintain a healthy level of parent/teacher relationship. there are many educated parents, especially non-working mothers, who are literate, and would be be more than happy to lend a hand to the school. just a thought... may be i m incorrect to think this way...


Maturity is not in talking about big things, it is understanding the little things.

Thamir Ghaslan

I'd rather have multiple smaller institutions that compete with each other and raise the educational bar instead of one employing half a million teachers!



That's called monopoly and guess what it leads to, exploitation!!

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