The number of businesses going under due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is increasing, with the latest victim being GEMS Cambridge International School, Kampala (CIK).
A countrywide lockdown was announced at the end of March to avert the spread of Covid-19. While business downtown and public transport has been opened up, schools, churches and bars are yet to open. As a result, many schools including GEMS are closing for good.
According to Riz Ahmed, the Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Africa the international school that was opened in 2013 will close business after Term 1 on December 31.
“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,” Ahmed was quoted in a statement to staff of the school.
“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 CIK will close after the first term of the new academic year, with 31 December 2020 as a tentative closure date,” he said.
“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,” he added.
“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,” he said.
Ahmed says staff at the school will be paid the full rate of their salary until the school closes.
Ahmed said the decision to close the school was a difficult one and it was reached after exhaustively exploring all other options.