As one of the 10 governmental cooperative projects signed last year between China and Canada, the Capital International School held a topping off ceremony, celebrating the completion of its new school building yesterday in Beijing.
Interior work on the building will be completed this July, and the school will begin its first term on September 1. Classes will be offered from kindergarten to Grade 10, with the curriculum provided by the Education Ministry of New Brunswick in Canada.
"The primary role of the school is to provide quality education to the children of diplomats, expatriates, returning scholars and citizens from different parts of the world currently residing in Beijing," said Francis Pang, chairman of the Toronto-based AKD International Ltd. The school will be managed and operated by AKD.
Located in the city's Third Embassy Quarter, the school enjoys a convenient geographic location.
Pang said the school has so far received more than 700 applications, half of which are from diplomats, the rest coming from expatriates residing in Beijing.
As a subsidized project of both the Chinese and Canadian governments, the school charges much lower fees than ordinary international schools in Beijing.
"Compared to an annual tuition fee of US$22,000, we charge around US$15,000. For the kindergarten, parents only need pay US$8,000," Pang said.
Students at the school will be exactly like those in Canada, he said: "Their certificates and diplomas will be recognized by the Canadian Government and worldwide."
About 60 per cent of the teachers will come from Canada, and the rest will be from all around the world, including Britain, Australia and the United States.
Philip Calvert, minister of the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, said while addressing the ceremony that the project would serve to strengthen the ties of friendship, co-operation and mutual understanding between China and Canada.
"We are not here just to celebrate the completion of a building. We are here to celebrate the creation of a solid, lasting network across China that will help our respective societies to prosper as friends and strategic partners."