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Private school Knightsbridge strands students, staff, parents

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Private school  strands students, staff, parents


Posted 03/07/2020

Parents of over   200 students who were attending what was once considered an elite private school in Panama Pacifico have called on the Ministry of Education (Meduca) to intervene to keep the school running.

The parents from have protested the unilateral decision of Knightsbridge Schools International to close its doors, leaving some 210 students of all educational levels uncertain.

Darío Herrera,  spokesperson for the parents, , stressed that they are requesting that the school remain open and that the State become the guarantor of following up on the judicial and administrative complaints that they will present for damages that the closure of the school is provoking.

The group held a protest on the school grounds, located in Panama Pacifico. Herrera confirmed that around 210 students are enrolled there.

The national director of Education, Guillermo Alegría, reported that they held a meeting with parents and senior managers of the Ministry of Education (Medusa) , among them, Minister Maruja Gorday de Villalobos, to investigate what it was happening.

During the meeting, the parents presented some options for the school to continue operating, which they must give in writing to Meduca, so that the entity can enter as a mediator in the conflict, and for the benefit of the students.

Alegría said they expect a written notification from the parents since all the communication at the meeting was verbal.

However, he said that they had received a note from the school, in which it announced the cessation of operations in Panama due to economic damages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which prevents it from continuing to operate in the country.

The regional director of Education of Panama West, Óscar Herrera, said that the representatives of the school claimed that they had an enrollment of 135 students, but, as a result of the pandemic, it was reduced to 90 students, with whom, they alleged, its operation was no longer sustainable.

Herrera said that as the school operates according to the international calendar, students are currently on vacation, after finishing the 2020 school year.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development (Mitradel) said that the workers, administrative employees, and teachers of the campus must file a complaint about fraud with, and parents must do the same before the Public Ministry. Mitradel inspectors will make a visit to the school, once the complaint is presented.

According to Mitradel, the workers' version is that they were notified of the termination of their contracts during a virtual meeting.



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