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President Ricardo Martinelli visited King’s College, the British School of Panama, to celebrate its official inauguration. The school opened in September of last year in Clayton, on the outskirts of Panama City in the former Canal Zone. It is a part of King’s Group, one of the largest and most successful international school groups delivering the National Curriculum of England and Wales.
The opening was also attended by Panama’s minister of education Lucy Molinar, the British Ambassador His Excellency Michael John Holloway and Panama’s ambassador to the UK, Ana Irene Delgado.
Sir Roger Fry, chairman of the King’s Group, attended the day and added; “because of the tremendous growth being seen in Panama every day, there is a clear need for more educated youth of the future. For this reason, King’s set about its mission to offer a first-class British education.”
Credit was given to Martinelli for being the impetus for the existence of this school, the first ever in the country to offer a full staff of 100% British teachers. He contacted Ambassador Holloway in 2010 and started the process in motion.
Speaking at the event, the president alerted guests that competition in the international education market awaits with schools from Germany, Italy and France soon to open in Panama. But the competition does not concern King’s College.
Enrollment has doubled to nearly 100 students in the less than six months that she school has been open. The student body represents some 25 nationalities and parents report being thrilled with the quality of education that their children receive.
Martinelli stated being proud to be a part of the school from its beginning and proud to have such a respected educational institution in his country. He added: “You have to speak English in this modern world, and if you can teach British English here, that will make it a lot easier for us to learn American English, too.”
Having a 100% British teaching staff in Panama at King’s College is possible due to an agreement with the Ministry of Education. As a result, King’s College is working with a school in Colón to improve its educational standards. On site at the school in Clayton, a group of Panamanian teachers are being trained to go on and instruct even more teachers on how to teach British English in Panama.
A construction feat in record time
One of the factors that King’s College officials are happy to announce regarding the opening of the school is the record time in which the building was ready. Project manager Ursula Marais states that opening the school in under one year after selecting the site was a great feat that required her hands-on expertise and dedicated energy to keep the project moving forward.
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