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The global reach of the SABIS® School Network has expanded since the first member school was established in Lebanon in 1886. With initial expansion coming within the Asian continent in 1974, the organization soon extended its reach to include the continents of Europe in 1983, North America in 1985, and then Africa in 1995. In the years following the organization’s establishment on the African continent, efforts have been underway to further extend the reach of the network and bring the proven SABIS® Educational System to more students around the world. Those efforts have paid off, with the organization’s first school in South America set to open in the 2015-16 academic year.

The city of La Chorrera in Panama will be host to the first SABIS® member school in South America. The school will be part of Costa Verde, the largest privately-funded community development project currently under development in Panama, and will be located on a plot of land spanning 50,000m2. The private, co-educational, international school is tentatively set to open by serving students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 2 in its first operational year. Additional grade levels will be added in each subsequent year of operation until the school reaches a full Pre-K-12 offering. The school will aim to provide students in a 40 kilometer radius with access to a high-quality educational institution that will effectively prepare them with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve success in a changing world. A boarding component is also under consideration as part of the school model in the future.

Taking a nod from its public-private partnership in Kurdistan, Iraq, where SABIS® offers professional development opportunities to Ministry of Education teachers, SABIS® will also set out to engage in capacity building within the education sector in Panama.

“We will be establishing a private school in Costa Verde, between Arraijan and La Chorrera,” commented SABIS® VP-Operations, Mr. George Saad, “and we will look to staff the school with the best-qualified and well-trained teachers from the local and international markets.” He continued, “In other places we operate, we have had great success in bringing an added value in terms of professional development opportunities for local teachers. We look forward to doing the same in Panama, effectively creating a broader pool of strong teacher candidates from which to draw.” Plans are also currently underway to build a SABIS® South American Regional Center adjacent to the new school campus. The South American Regional Center will join 5 others – in the U.S., Cairo, Lebanon, the U.A.E., and Kurdistan – currently serving schools in the SABIS® School Network. “In Latin America, places like Panama, Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Chile, rapid expansion and strengthening economies bring several opportunities for growth,” stated Mr. Udo Schulz, SABIS® Senior VP International Business Development. “The SABIS® school model in Panama will be an exciting step to support the need to better educate a broader spectrum of future professionals in support of this growth.”

Watch future SABIS® Newsletters for further developments in Panama!