Three New International Schools in Panama – Changing the Learning Format
Panama has had, and still has, a good selection of International, bilingual schools for Expat parents to choose from. Up to now, the dedicated Administrators and professors have been limited by what they can do by the sometimes antiquated standards of MEDUCA, Panama’s Ministry of Education.
Over the last two years, three new entrants to the international education field have found a way to get away from the old and bring in the new. These new international schools in Panama are: Panama Pacifico Academy (PPA), the Boston School and King’s College – the British School of Panama.
All three share some important similarities. They…
- Focus on creative and critical thinking, and technical skills, as opposed to rote memorization and test passing.
- Apply high-tech computers, interactive whiteboards and other technology designed to solidify student comprehension.
- Have bilingual English-Spanish curriculums taught be fluent teachers
- Offer improved physical education programs.
- Offer comprehensive extra-curricular activities.
- And more…
The three also promise to prepare students to actually have the capability get admitted to, and graduate from, top universities in North America and or Europe.
And all three will provide a quality education for pennies on the dollar for what you would probably pay at home. Some representative numbers would be admission and registration fees, uniforms, books and supplies, all for under $1,000. A good average figure for monthly tuition is $500 a month.
Panama Pacifico Academy
Director Wendy McArthur describes the PPA in this way, “The PPA high school is the first ‘virtual’ high school in Panama, which offers flexibility and opportunity for high school students, and its K-12 progressive service learning program sets the school apart from others in Panama. We offer a challenging internationally minded program; designed to give every student opportunities for success by unleashing the power of inquiry. In partnership with parents, PPA fosters the development of each student’s personal potential through a balance of the academic, physical, social, emotional, and ethical aspects of life, with a strong emphasis on community service learning.”
The PPA is part of the huge Panama Pacifico Manufacturing Duty Free Zone, located in what was the US Howard Air force Base located over the Bridge of the Americas from Panama City.
The Boston School
Headmaster Frederic K. Gornell describes the advantages and offerings of the Boston School this way, “…A school which would prepare good citizens and future leaders with the necessary skills to succeed in a globalized market with increasing technological advances and demands, and to lead in a world in need of high moral and ethical standards. This is how Boston School was created.”
As of now, the Boston School teaches Preschool, Kinder and Elementary (grades 1 to 6). Junior High and High School will be available in the future.
The Boston School is waiting for certification from the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (N.A.A.S.), and the International Baccalaureate Organization in order to be recognized as an IB World School.
The Boston School is located in the Balboa area of Panama City (next to the Panama Canal and the Balboa Theater).
King’s College – The British School of Panama
Headteacher Vanessa Whay describes the King’s College advantages in this way, “At King´s College our aim is ensure that every child reaches their full potential in all aspects of their education. Values such as compassion, respect and friendliness are an integral part of the school’s ethos. Clear boundaries and simple rules will help make King´s College, the British School of Panama a happy and safe place to learn. We expect our children to work hard, but also to enjoy themselves.
Like our schools in Europe, King´s College, Panama follows the National Curriculum of England and Wales. Classes will be taught by qualified and experienced teachers from the UK. Although we are starting as a primary school we will grow and soon we will also have a secondary department. In five or six years’ time the first group of pupils will be taking their IGCSE exams and after that their A Levels.”
The British School of Panama is located in the former Clayton Army Base, just 20 minutes from Panama City.
Though we are not promoting any of these schools specifically, the Panamanian school system could use the programs they are trying to instigate. Young Expat and Panamanian minds can only benefit too. Good luck to all.