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Sun 17 May 2020 08:02 PM

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GEMS Education threatens to deactivate e-learning over non-payment of fees

Dubai-based operator has also warned it won't provide transfer certificate or final report card and students may have to repeat the year

GEMS Education threatens to deactivate e-learning over non-payment of fees

GEMS has come under fire from parents for the company’s handling of fees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dubai schooling giant GEMS Education is threatening to pull the plug on online learning for any students whose term three fees have not been paid.

Parents from GEMS Metropole, in Motor City, have been warned that a failure to settle the amount due will see their child’s e-learning deactivated for three days from May 27. This will happen again on June 7 for another three days; and will be deactivated “continuously” from June 14 “until payment is received”.

The schools operator has also stipulated that the final report card will be withheld; students will not be promoted to the following year with a risk of repeating the year; and a transfer certificate for any new school admission will not be provided.

The correspondence, which has been widely circulated on social media, said: “Please note that we are keen that our students’ learning is not disturbed and have therefore offered the possibility of payment/instalment plan that shall facilitate payments for our families yet these need to be settled by July 2020 maximum.”

It added that the measures “have been approved by KHDA (Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority)”.

This is not the first time such threats have been made. Last month, GEMS Education said they would remove students from its distance learning programme if payments were not received.

GEMS has come under fire from parents for the company’s handling of fees during the coronavirus pandemic. At the beginning of April, the operator said it would offer some parents discounts on school fees – but only after handing over details of their financial situation.

Over 15,000 parents have signed an online petition calling for a minimum 30 percent fee reduction for the third term, in which students have remained at home ‘e-learning’ rather than in classrooms.

A spokesperson for GEMS Education told Arabian Business: "In line with government regulations, to ensure students benefit from remote learning and progress to the next year or grade at the end of this academic year, tuition fees need to be paid in full.

“We recently introduced several measures including deferment of fees, payment plans and discounts for families who have lost their jobs, had salary cuts or been placed on unpaid leave as a direct result of the Covid-19 virus. This targeted approach will allow us to allocate our relief efforts to those most in need during these unprecedented times, while retaining all our teachers and managing and maintaining school buildings and facilities.

“Our teachers and education leaders have been working tirelessly to deliver the highest quality remote learning for all our students, and we are committed to honouring our obligation to continue to pay our teaching staff in full.”

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