waiting for green light: Westminister School, Sharjah is awaiting security approval xpress/ARSHAD ALI

SHARJAH Parents say they will pull their children out of GEMS’ new Westminster school in Sharjah if it does not open soon.

Westminster, which has a school in Dubai, was to open in the first week of September, but even 20 days later hundreds of children still await classes to commence at the newly-built school near the National Paints Roundabout.

“If the school does not announce a start date by this month-end, I will pull out my daughter. I have bought books and the uniform for her and she is yearning to start school.

“I am also very concerned that she has lost out on a lot of classes,” said a frustrated South African mother.

Further delay

On Sunday, parents received a newsletter informing them of further delay. A message from the principal read: “We have received all approvals necessary to open the school except for security clearance, a federal requirement. This means that unfortunately we cannot open on Sunday 23rd September. However, we expect to receive approval to open very soon and request your patience for just a little longer. We sincerely regret the inconvenience and stress.” The same day, parents were invited to take a tour of the school — which parents say is fully ready with all utilities in place. “It’s sad that our children cannot still study there,” said an Indian father.

A Canadian parent who has enrolled all this three children in the school said: “The school fee is around Dh14,000 per annum per child. A school staff told us they will waive off one month’s tuition fees from the second term. But I am more concerned, about how my children will make up for the lost classes.”

An apology note on the school’s website reads: “We are extremely disappointed that we were unable to open our school as scheduled and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“We are still waiting for the necessary approvals from the authorities which could take a couple more weeks, but we hope to have the matter resolved before then. Please contact the school for more information.”

When XPRESS contacted Gems Education, a spokesperson said: “We have made significant progress in relation to the approvals required and are in the final stages of having the license issued.”