Close to 100 school directors and senior SABIS® personnel convened in Istanbul, Turkey, from July 6-11, 2013, for the 17th Annual SABIS® Directors’ Meeting. The participants at the annual meeting, including ten first-time attendees, represented ten different nationalities and 1,298 collective years of experience in SABIS®.
United under a theme of “Global Reach through Academic Success,” the four days of meetings included a wide range of sessions designed to review the successes and challenges of the past academic year and highlight exciting new developments for the year ahead. Attendees participated in plenary sessions that offered presenters the opportunity to reach the broad geographically-based audience in one sweep as well as breakout meetings for individuals from different SABIS® regions.
In keeping with the format of the annual meeting, this year’s meeting provided SABIS® member school directors with the chance to dialogue with peers, exchange ideas, and renew friendships. Attendance at the meeting by the entire SABIS® Board also gave participants the opportunity to draw upon Board members’ valuable expertise and perspective.
Speaking on the last day of the conference, the conference guest speaker, Ms. Svava Bjarnason, struck a chord that resonated with all those in attendance with her keynote address on “Education for Employability”. Bjarnason, the Principal Education Specialist at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), highlighted the importance of preparing high school graduates with the knowledge and skills they would need for university and a viable career thereafter. “Effectively teaching students basic competencies at the primary and secondary level contributes to the transition of youth to the labor market or to further education,” she stated. She went on to discuss the disparity that exists globally between the skills students are acquiring and employers’ actual needs in the workforce. “Employers are reporting that they have to invest heavily in training in order to have productive employees,” she continued. Recognizing the strengths of the SABIS® Educational System in preparing students with competitive knowledge and skills, she concluded by encouraging the SABIS® team to continue working to ensure student success.
Feedback on the annual meeting was positive and echoed by many. “This was a very valuable Directors’ Meeting. I am proud to be a member of such an outstanding team and I look forward to our continued success and growth,” stated Mr. Chris Matheson, Director at the International Academy of Saginaw in the U.S., a SABIS® member school.
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