RANGOON — In a further sign of Burma’s rapid opening-up, the British School Foundation, a prestigious international education organization, announced plans to open a British International School in Rangoon on Thursday to meet growing demand for world-class education in the country.
At the opening ceremony at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Rangoon, deputy headmaster Adam Johnson said he foresaw an influx of expatriate families taking up jobs in Burma, which is expecting a rapid increase in economic growth, foreign investment and international aid.
“We will target British expat families at first, but everybody can come and look at our school. We feel that there is a growing market here in Yangon,” said Johnson, adding that the school would offer education at the highest international levels.
“We have very strong links with universities around the world. If the children come to our school, they will learn the English national curriculum. They can join universities both in the United Kingdom and the US,” he said.
In addition to the British national curriculum, the school will also provide additional learning opportunities for pupils, such as through sports, music, drama and educational trips, according to Johnson.
The school is scheduled to open in August with a campus located close to Inya Lake on Insein Road and will at first offer classes from pre-nursery to primary school levels.
“We will open the school for what we called “Early Year and Primary” in August this year for children of age 2 until 10. The school will grow every year,” said Ola Natvig, director of the British International School Yangon, adding that 100 to 150 students are expected to enroll in August.
“We learned there is a big need. There are not enough international quality schools in Yangon. We looked at the market and we realized there is big shortage. All schools are quite full. There is also big demand for British style education. There not so many schools that are providing the English national curriculum,” said Natvig.
“We saw there is a big need for education and many companies told us there are big problems to recruit people to Yangon because they have nowhere to put their children. So, we decided to enter the market,” he said, adding that for example the UN and Coca Cola had informed the school of this demand.
Natvig said the school complex was expected to expand in the future and include sport facilities, a theater, swimming pool and a library, adding that the school expects to have about 1,000 students two years from now.
The British International School Yangon falls under the British Schools Foundation, a UK registered non-profit organization that promotes quality British-style education worldwide. It has ten schools in nine countries.
Annual tuition and school fees range from $10,800 per year for pre-nursery care, to $19,300 per year for primary school classes 1 to 6, the school said on its website.