Maribor – Slovenia’s second largest city will launch its first international school next year in a bid to attract foreign professionals. Classes in English will be available for children and youth from the age of 3 to 19 with registration for pupils and teachers open until the end of January.
Presenting the project to reporters in Maribor on Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Alenka Iskra said the creation of International IB School Maribor was key for the city’s further development.
“We would like to create conditions conducive to development of business in the city and the region. Many a promising professional who would want to seek business opportunities in Maribor is deterred by the inability to get education for their children,” she said.
The Leon Štukelj Primary School is to provide the pre-school and most of the primary courses and international department II. Gimnazija Maribor will be responsible for the final two years of primary and for secondary school courses.
These will be based on the programmes developed by the Geneva-based organisation International Baccalaureate (IB) which the two schools plan to apply for in February, once they have established how keen the interest in enrolment.
The school is aimed mainly at the children of foreign diplomats and representatives of businesses and other organisations, and children of Slovenian citizens residing or planning to reside abroad.
The city’s education official Tatjana Rebernik said there had been quite some interest, in particular among families that would like to move to Maribor.
The city has secured the paperwork and everything needed to start the school, including the go-ahead from the state to subsidise the programme. The city will cover material costs, while a major source of income will be tuition fees.
The current estimate is that these would amount to between 5,500 and 7,800 euros, which would be roughly on a par with a similar international school in Ljubljana.
The costs are to be covered with ten or twelve pupils enrolled per class, the figures which the city expects to reach within three to five years.
Both schools involved see many advantages in the project, mainly an opportunity to link various cultures, the head teachers Melita Bizjak Radeljič and Marko Jagodič said.
Expressions of interest in enrolment are expected by 31 January when the deadline also expires for applications for teachers, who will undergo special training.
The school is expected to become operational in the 2022/2023 school year. The Maribor city authorities say the IB programme is being implemented by 3,665 schools in 146 countries around the globe.