Highland’s International Baccalaureate program in jeopardy

Dear Editor,

The Comox Valley risks losing a unique educational opportunity unless a dozen more students can be found to enrol in Highland Secondary’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program for Grades 11 and 12. High-achieving Grade 10s and their parents from anywhere in the Valley should take a look before the March 25 deadline.

The IB Diploma is an internationally recognized credential welcomed for admission to universities all over the world — including most of the very best ones — because the quality is uniform no matter where the diploma is earned. Universities such as UVic and UBC offer credit for some first year courses, based on the achievement of students in similar IB courses, such as the sciences, English or French. That means IB students in Grade 12 take university equivalent courses. Scholarship committees also value an IB Diploma.

Academic standards are high and students have to work hard. The self-disclipine required is excellent preparation for university.

I’m familiar with IB because my own kids attended IB schools in Africa.

Highland’s IB is special. It’s the only English IB public school on Vancouver Island. Victoria doesn’t have one and neither does Nanaimo. There’s one French IB and the few others are all expensive private schools.

The other notable benefit of Highland’s IB is the cost. The IB schools I sent my kids to in Africa ranged from $10,000 – $18,000 (USD) per child per annum. I couldn’t have afforded the tuition without my employer subsidizing the cost. At Highland, the tuition is $1,250 for the two-year diploma program.

Imagine: an elite international diploma offered by a public high school right here in the Valley and accessible to any capable student with supportive parents.

Check it out! And don’t forget the deadline. See ibo.org or highlandsecondary.ca/node/7

 

 

Eric Bellows

Comox Valley