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Panama Rural School earns international designation
A TUITION FREE boarding school serving the remote areas of Coclé has taken a major step forward in helping the higher education aspirations of students from the region’s less privileged families.
Forum Academy has been authorized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and will offer the IB Diploma Program starting March 2, 2015. This prestigious designation makes Forum Academy the only IB school in Panama to operate outside of Panama City.
The Academy's mission is to ensure that rural students have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in university studies. Computer technology, sciences, and English are at the center of the school’s rigorous curriculum, designed to prepare its students for professional careers in Panama’s growing economy says a press release from the school.
"The establishment of Forum Academy and our subsequent IB authorization serve as symbols to all of Panama that children from rural regions can have access to a world class education," says John Keffer, President of Forum Foundation and Founder of Forum Academy.
"This is a huge step forward for the children of Coclé’s mountainous region. They are now able to compete side by side with students of very different social and cultural backgrounds and will be agents of dramatic change in their own communities," comments Sol Perez Tirado, Director of Forum Academy. "It is also a remarkable step forward for our teachers, who have completed an intensive professional development program to learn the student- centered and concept-based IB approach, which translates into the best possible guidance to our students," said Ms. Perez.
“The IB is recognized across the world for its innovative approach to education. We strongly believe that it is important to place an equal focus on academics and other, transferable skills, in order to best prepare students for success beyond high school,” said Drew Deutsch, Director, IB America and International Baccalaureate. “That Forum Academy has successfully completed the authorization process and can now start offering the IB marks an exciting time for the school and more importantly, for the students who will benefit from an IB education.”
Forum Academy was established in 2014 by Forum Foundation, a US-based non-profit organization whose charitable efforts have focused on education in Coclé Province since 2008. “A well-educated and knowledgeable workforce will be critical to developing and maintaining a strong and growing economy in Panama,” notes Mr. Keffer. To learn more about Forum Academy visit www.forum-foundation.org.
For further information about the International Baccalaureate visit www.ibo.org.