School of the Nations (Bahá'í – Macau)

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The School of the Nations [Traditional Chinese: 聯國學校; Simplified Chinese: 联国学校; Jyutping (Cantonese): lyun4 gwok3 hok6 haau6; Pinyin (Mandarin): lián guó xué xiào] is a Bahá'í-inspired school in the Taipa, Macau community. It is owned by the Badi Foundation. In 1988, as the result of the efforts of a number of Macau residents and the Government of Macau, the School was established. As an international school, it provides an internationally oriented English-medium educational program that meets the needs of both expatriate and local families.

The School of the Nations on Taipa Island in Macau, China.
A very-wide-angle view of the school.

History[edit]

The school opened in January 1988 with 5 students, all of whom were enrolled in the kindergarten. Within a few months, though, the demand from concerned parents for more grade levels resulted in the decision to expand to a full primary school for the academic year 1988- 1989. In 1990-1991 the school moved into new premises allowing the school to enroll approximately 200 students (a 100% increase over the preceding year). A 35% increase for the academic year 1991-1992 and a 29% increase for 1992-1993 brought the school to a critical condition of overcrowding; to accommodate the influx of new students, in 1994 the school began to lease commercial properties and converted them into classrooms.

In 1997 all of Asia experienced a severe economic downturn, and enrollments at the school dropped. The decision was made to return all leased property, reduce overhead and limit enrollment to the number of students that could be accommodated in the properties belonging to the school. From that period until 2008, the school maintained a steady population of about 260 students.

In 2008, construction of the School of the Nations building was completed. The building is located on Rua de Minho, on Taipa Island, not far from the Nova City residential complex. This new facility has greatly increased the school's capacity, and in the coming years, the school will gradually increase enrollment.

Current status[edit]

About 70% of the student population is from Macau while the other 30% represents approximately 35 different nationalities. The parents of these expatriate students, for the most part, are in Macau for employment, working in Macau's private and public sectors. The Macau Government departments of Education, Economics, and Immigration, in consideration of the needs of these families for a high-quality English-medium education, have provided the school with their full cooperation and support.

Facilities[edit]

As a result of Macau's special circumstances, from the school's founding in 1988 to the completion of the new school building in 2008, the school was located in several different residential buildings. Classes were held in modified apartments. Physical education and other outdoor activities were carried out in the nearby facilities of a government school as well as public facilities where the School had access to basketball and mini-soccer courts and swimming pools.

In 2006, Macau's Education Department gave the school a grant of 2,500 square metres of land on Taipa Island, as well as substantial financial support for the construction of the new campus.[1] The present school building is on these grounds.

Accreditation and Awards[edit]

The School of the Nations is an International Baccalaureate school, offering the IB Diploma Programme to students in Forms 5 and 6. Students in Forms 3 and 4 pursue the International General Certificate of Secondary Education offered through Cambridge International Examinations.[2]

The character training program was awarded first prize in 1997 for innovation in curriculum by the Department of Education and Youth Services of Macau. It was also awarded 3rd prize by the International Schools Services in their worldwide competition for community service programs.[3]

Programme[edit]

Character development, a spirit of social service and cooperation, including environmental awareness[4] is a strong theme and distinctive contribution to the educational landscape of Macau[1] in addition to the full suite of academic curricula required for the IGCSE exams in Form 5 including major subject areas of:[3]

  • All secondary students are required to devote almost two hours a week to service activities
(examples include working with the elderly, volunteering time at an animal shelter, and participating in environmental clean ups.)[5]

Scholarships[edit]

The school offers a scholarship to students who are in financial need and who have consistently and diligently demonstrated high academic merit in both their English- and Chinese-language classes. Scholarship recipients must also be noted for their cooperative behaviour, friendliness, helpfulness, respect for teachers and fellow students, and obedience to school rules. The scholarship is funded through ongoing fundraising efforts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b School of the Nations, Macau, receives land grant from government Taipa, Macau 6 July 2006 (BWNS)
  2. ^ Education at the School of the Nations
  3. ^ a b The Educational program of the School
  4. ^ Atlas of Student Action for the Planet UN.org Cyberschoolbus
  5. ^ Character Development Program at the school

External links[edit]