Update from Saigon (Working in International Schools)

Well, now I am moving unto Year 6.  I am making some new changes starting this month in regards to my work with international schools here in Saigon.

Last week, I completed my third year as the part-time Computer Science/ICT Teacher at the American International School.  The first two years were interesting but the last year was a bit long.  AIS now has three campuses and will be opening their main campus in Nha Be, past Phu My Hung, in January, 2011.  They did receive their IB so I wish them the best in the future.  There really is no passion for education at AIS that I felt at the Zaman International School in Cambodia and the Horizon International Bilingual School (HIBS) in Vietnam.

One school that will exemplify a true passion of education is the newly formed The American School of Vietnam (TAS).  I will fill in two weeks for their ICT teacher.  The two weeks will be a great transition for me.  I will be moving from an American educational environment at TAS to a British educational environment at HIBS.

I will be fully on board at HIBS, also known as Horizon, starting July 1st.  My first task is to work with the IT Teachers and principal to implement the Moodle learning management system before the start of the 2010-2011 school year.  We will use Moodle system wide between the 5 HIBS campuses located in Saigon and Hanoi. We are pretty much going to implement an entirely new IT network at Horizon that will meet international standards including using interactive wide boards and distance learning.  Expect me to blog a lot about my IT work at Horizon.  Time permitting, I will also teach the Computer Studies course based on the Cambridge system.

Transitioning to HIBS will be great, it will mean I can get to eat Turkish food everyday.  That is a huge benefit in itself and the Turkish management is very supportive of education.  Most people may have never heard of Horizon.  The school is about 5 years old but in the next 5 years, I guarantee you will hear a lot about this school.

Thus, starting this month, I will be lucky enough to work at 2 of the top 5 best international schools in Saigon (The other three are the British International School, International School Ho Chi Minh City, and South Saigon International School).  These five place quality and education over quantity and profit.  If you are a parent, these values should be very important.  The other international schools do not seem to place any value on quality anymore.  To determine whether an international school is focusing on quality or not, just look at the turnover of the teachers and staff.  The higher quality international schools can retain their teachers and staff, the lower quality cannot.

Just my ten cents worth on international schools in Saigon…

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