Gems Cambridge International School is set to close its branch in Uganda as a result of COVID-19 following the closure of schools on the 18th-March-2020 by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the president of the Republic of Uganda as one of the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In a letter directed to the staff, Riz Ahmed the Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Africa explained how painful they felt on taking such a decision even after having successfully operated in the country since 2013 as seen below;
GEMS Cambridge International School, Kampala (CIK) has been faithfully serving its community of students, parents, and staff since we opened our school in 2013. During this period, we have continuously looked to raise the quality of education and opportunities for our students and we feel very fortunate to have educated hundreds of students over the past seven years.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect families, businesses, and whole industries around the world – and our school is no exception. The pandemic and the resulting uncertainties have proved exceptionally testing, and our enrolment numbers have been severely impacted as well as our ability to sustain our operations, despite our best efforts.
As a result of these circumstances, we have been forced to make some very difficult decisions, and it is with great sadness that I am writing to advise you that CİK will close after the first term of the new academic year, with 31 December 2020 as a tentative closure date.
This decision has been an incredibly hard one to make and comes as a last resort. Over the summer period, we have been assessing the impact of the pandemic whilst exploring options with our regulators. We have communicated this at the earliest possible time after exhausting all options. We know it will cause significant disruption to you and your family, and we will do whatever we can to lessen the impact and ensure the upcoming transition is as smooth and seamless as possible – both for you and our students and parents.
We welcome our students to remain with us through term 1 with the option of enrolling in the remote learning offering at Hillcrest International School in Nairobi, Kenya either now or at the start of term 2.
We very much intend for all of our staff to continue working and serving the school through until its closure date and will endeavor to assist you with the next steps in your education career. For the remainder of your employment and during your notice period, you will be paid at the full rate of your salary, as per your employment contract.
Finally, let me reiterate how difficult this decision has been and that we have reached this conclusion after exhaustively exploring all other options. As a CIK community, you should all be proud of the many collective achievements over the years, which would not have been possible without you.
Should you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. He wrote and signed the letter.
Gems Cambridge is to be added on those many schools that may not be able to reopen when the lockdown of schools is lifted. Many other schools around Kampala and the country at large were sold off and the infrastructure like buildings redesigned as rentals and business buildings.
If schools fail to open by September 2020, the Ugandan Education sector will be hit by a catastrophe leaving it with no teachers and schools combined.