Private schools abound in Managua

Hidden across Managua, away from the dirt, grime and bustle of the city, are secret worlds of academia tucked behind tall gates and lush shrubbery.

These private school campuses are oases of scholastic excellence and extracurricular activity. Soccer fields, science buildings and swing sets dominate the scene as teachers and students move about campus from class to class.

For wealthy expats and well-heeled Nicaraguans, enrolling students in a private school can be a harrowing experience. There are nearly a dozen reputable English-language and bilingual private schools in Managua, varying in size, religious orientation and academic levels.

Many parents start the process early on, enrolling their children in bilingual preschool. There are family affiliations, tuition concerns and application deadlines to worry about. The world of elite private schools is a minefield of glossy brochures, smiling admissions officials and promises of future success.

Even an attempt to profile the top bilingual and English schools in Managua comes rife with issues. As Jose Oyanguren, headmaster at St. Augustine Preparatory puts it, “The top school is the one that is the right match for the students and their family. Ranking doesn’t matter if the school is what the family wants.”

Each private school in Managua believes—as they surely must—that they are the best in their class. The Nicaragua Dispatch has profiled three of them—all accredited in the United States—that are in contention for that claim.

American Nicaraguan School

The American Nicaraguan School has perhaps the longest claim to the throne. Founded in 1944, it is the oldest private school in Managua, as well as one of the largest with an enrollment of 950 students. The school starts for students as young as 3 years old and runs through 12th grade, at which point 98% of the senior class goes on to a four-year college. 

Gloria Doll (photo/ Eleanor Klibanoff)

“I’d say 88-89% of the students go on to college in the United States,” says director Dr. Gloria Doll. “They find themselves well prepared to apply and be accepted in the United States, as well as compete academically at the Universities in which they enroll.”

Accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), American Nicaraguan School students find it very easy to apply for colleges in the United States. The school, like all the bilingual schools in Managua, operates on a U.S. school schedule (August through June). This stands in contrast to the Nicaraguan school calendar, which has students in class from February to November.

“We do a terrific U.S.-style education,” says Doll. “We rely on Socratic discussion, we use technology integration and we teach English from native speakers. We have a focus on retaining our mainstay teachers and also actively recruiting good teachers from the United States.”

Doll has spent her career as director of American schools abroad. She headed schools in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Argentina and Croatia. While in Costa Rica, she heard about ANS and decided it was time to give Nicaragua a try.

Technology is an important tool for learning at ANS (photo/ ANS)

“It sounded like an amazing school that had allowed the weeds to grow up a little,” says Doll. “There were flowers, but someone just had to trim back the weeds. And I realized that it wouldn’t take five years or ten, the school could be back to its prime in a year or two. I like that kind of challenge.”

She has increased technology usage by instituting a “Bring Your Own Device” policy for high school students, which requires them to bring their own laptop to school each day. She has also focused more attention on teacher recruitment.

To remain on par with their U.S. competitors, ANS offers a huge number of extracurricular activities. Through the Association of American Schools of Central America (AASCA), ANS fields sports teams that compete in Panama, Guatemala and Honduras. Doll has increased the number of non-team sport activities as well: dance classes, tae kwan doe and “knowledge bowl” are just some of the groups that have recently started.

“This school just has the longest, richest history,” says Doll. “We never closed, even when students were being drafted at age 16. They were drafted right off the football field, and they had to come back and finish their senior year when they returned. We have the history that no other school can claim.”

ANS towers high in their own minds, and if history is any indication, they are going to be a mainstay of the private school scene for years to come.

“As someone crudely put it to me once, we are just so far ahead of whatever is in second place,” says Doll.

Lincoln International Academy

Lincoln International Academy is prepared to contest ANS’s claim as top school. Founded in 1991, the school is the second oldest and its enrollment of 700 is creeping towards ANS’s hulking numbers. Many families are attracted to Lincoln for its English-language curriculum and Catholic values.

“We were founded in 1991 to offer a bilingual education with a Catholic perspective,” says Alejandro Vogel, development director and member of the Board of Directors. “We were also coming out of a Communist regime, and we had to teach a lot about democratic principles. So democracy is also one of our founding principles.”

Lincoln Academy’s Alejandro Vogel and Adolfo Gonzalez (photo/ Eleanor Klibanoff)

Like ANS, Lincoln is accredited through SACS and is a member of Association of American Schools of Central America (AASCA). While they model themselves on U.S. schools, the overwhelming majority of their students are Nicaraguans, including a large percentage of dual citizens. Lincoln also attracts a cohort of Asian expats, whose parents come to Nicaragua for the textile industry.

“These students come from Korea or Taiwan, not speaking English or Spanish,” says Adolfo Gonzalez, headmaster. “They graduate being able to speak both, plus their native tongue. It’s really great to see.”

Lincoln also enrolls many students from other countries in Central America. They come to Nicaragua because it is safe, explains Gonzalez. He said he has seen families where the father stays in El Salvador or Honduras to work, but sends the rest of the family to Nicaragua for school.

Gonzalez knows that he has tough competition from ANS and the other English-language schools in Managua, but his goal is to make Lincoln the best in Nicaragua.

“When we ask parents what attracts them to Lincoln, they always say the academics and the values,” says Gonzalez. “They expect academic excellence from any school, but the values that we teach are the difference.”

Lincoln achieved accreditation in 2009, which has opened countless doors for their students. Accreditation in the United States offers what Vogel calls “insurance” for the families of international students. If they need to leave Nicaragua, they can transfer their credit elsewhere with ease. It also makes applying to college in the United States easier, something most Lincoln seniors want to do.

“Almost all of our graduates this year went to college in the United States,” says Vogel. “They want to go because if they have worked hard here and then have to go to university in Nicaragua, it will be an interruption of their academic progress. They want to continue to work hard in college in the United States and then return to Nicaragua after.”

Lincoln’s 39 graduates this year received $5.1 million dollars in scholarships and awards, according to their website. Doing well at a school as rigorous as Lincoln is a good indicator of future success in college, says Vogel. And accreditation has made it easy to translate that success into financial aid.

Lincoln’s big claim to fame, however, is its teacher program. As the Nicaragua representative for Framingham State University in Massachusetts, they offer teachers the chance to work towards a Masters degree in Education during summer and Christmas breaks.

“Teachers come here, they leave a few years later with money saved, teaching experience and a higher degree,” says Gonzalez. “It’s a win-win for them, and because of that program, we attract good teachers.”

Lincoln also sees their status as the “second” school in Managua as an advantage in recruiting the best students.

“For a long time, ANS was the only option,” says Vogel. “When we started, we offered an alternative to ANS, and I think people appreciated that. We gave families a choice, and now we are at least as strong as they are.”

St. Augustine Preparatory School

Lincoln’s monopoly on Catholic, English-language instruction in Managua came to an end in 2001 with the founding of St. Augustine Preparatory School. Started by José Oyanguren and Claudia Lacayo, the headmaster and elementary school principal, respectively, the school aims to offer a smaller school experience for Nicaraguans and expats.

The school has 480 students enrolled this year, making it the smallest private school in Managua, says Oyanguren.

St. Augustine’s Claudia Lacayo and José Oyanguren (photo/ Eleanor Klibanoff)

“This allows the students to be close to the teachers, and the teachers to be close with us, and us to be familiar with the parents,” the headmaster explains.

The school opened initially as K-4 and then added a new grade level each year. Twelve years later, the school has graduated three senior classes, upgraded to purpose-designed facilities and achieved accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Oyanguren thinks they may be the youngest school in Central America to achieve accreditation. As he puts it, “11 years is very little time in a school’s history.”

St. Augustine’s promise is academic rigor with a conscience. A graduate of ANS and an educator in Nicaragua for years, Oyanguren took a lot of his experiences into account when starting his school.

“We had a vision of how we wanted things to be done,” says Oyanguren. “Educating children who come from families of means and social standing can be difficult. It can be hard to teach values, but we wanted to take on that challenge. We are concerned with the type of student that graduates from here, not just what college they get into afterwards.”

Making the Grade: the 2011 graduating class of St. Augustine Prep (photo / St. Augustine Prep)

When Oyanguren started St. Augustine, he had to confront what he saw as the failings of the public school system in Managua. Going “back to basics,” as he puts it, he created a system that ensures academic excellence.

“At St. Augustine, you are going to learn, and you are going to learn a lot,” says the headmaster. “That seems standard, but not all schools have that core of promoting educational excellence.”

Also a member of AASCA, St. Augustine seeks to offer all the same opportunities found at the larger schools, including a strong teaching staff. Oyanguren himself is a graduate of Georgetown University and Yale University. His teachers come from equally prestigious universities: UVA, Georgetown and Harvard, to name a few.

The school offers these teachers a smaller community to work with, and promises close connections with students. Teachers also benefit from a Saturday community English class program. They get extra teaching experience (and extra income) when the school opens its doors every weekend to local public school students interested in learning English.

Other private schools

Though ANS, Lincoln and St. Augustine are the only three schools in Nicaragua affiliated with the AASCA, Managua has countless other private school options, all of which offer something special for the right family. Colegio Teresiano and Christian Academy are also accredited and reputable high schools as is Notre Dame Academy. All three are usually considered by parents deciding which school is right for their kids.

“There is nothing more important than choosing a school for the right reasons,” says St. Augustine’s Oyanguren. “Parents need to put in the research to make sure they make the right choice.”

And with tuition and fees running $10,000 or more per annum, it is certainly not a decision to be taken lightly.

 

  • Antoine joly

    Don t Forget the french nicaraguan school that provides an éducation of the same level than in France with attractive prices because of the help of France: a High éducation opening the doors of universities all over the world and naturelly in France with a mix of nicaraguans and foreigners

    • Boris

      That’s right, I’ve just put my daughter at “Liceo Victor Hugo” and it’s really a 1st class choice, talking about humanism, teachers skills, infrastructure, organization and also pluricultural atmosphere.

      • http://no Damian

        What is the cost per annum at the french school?

    • Domingo

      I attended “El Nicaragüense Francés” before it was known as Victor Hugo (’75-’84). The school was small but the teachers were first class. We ha french teachers who came from France and the school was disciplined without the Catholic school stigma. It was friendly but competitive and It left a lifelong impression of academic excellence that I did not experienced since in my academic endeavors. We played sports with El Alemán, El Americano, and El Lasalle. Many of my contemporaries moved on to college and great careers. I am disappointed with the contributor because she describes Lincoln school as second oldest and only considered English speaking international schools only where as the those statements fall very short from the truth.

      On the other hand, I can’t help but feel a little proud that this kind of reporting does provide an optimistic ray of hope in academics in Nicaragua and I that no matter how fluffy ANS was portrayed (since we all knew that they were not the smarter), I would take any of the aforementioned schools over the public school system in the US.

  • Anon

    St Augustine is better if you want to do Catholic school. ANS still is the best.

  • Erik Jota

    A former teacher at the ANS described his alumnos to me as “unbearable spoilt brats”.

  • Johnny

    These article is deceiving… It talks about an abundance of private schools, but it only mention a few… What about the Colegio Aleman Nicaraguense or Pierre y Marie Curie School… It says also that 88% to 89% of ANS students go to the USA, but it fails to mention the drop-out rate…

  • NicaPumpkin

    That teacher was right, and I also happen to know that that is the shared consensus among the instructors who teach there right now. Literally, these demon children are the reason why most teachers who come from abroad usually only last there until the end of their FIRST two-year contract.

    ANS has a lot of good going for it, I’ll admit, but it also has A TON of problems. Like seriously. For one, the english proficiency among students is AWEFUL. Just ABYSMAL. Not lying… Only a few students for each class are any good at it…

    Another huge problem and probably the biggest BY FAR is the lack of morality in that institution. Most kids who attend really are rich and spoiled and beyond belief, and neither the parents NOR the instructors do ANYTHING to fix this HUGE problem. Like for real, one would think that having a good, global, private school education would bring up fantastic and model citizens but it is JUST THE OPPOSITE.

    Those two things are the main problems IMO, and the admin. should focus ALL of their efforts on correcting this…bunch o’ drunks and liars they all are!

  • Miami_boy

    I agree the American School is home to some of the most spoiled brats in all of Nicaragua. Of course there are some great people that came out of that school, as there are exceptions to every rule.

    Contrary to popular belief, most of the kids that go to this school are not extremely wealthy, nor were born with silver spoons (let’s face it, in Nicaragua there are only a few dozen millionaires, IF that), the majority of the kids that go to this school should be considered middle class kids. I mean, think about it, in the States given their parent´s income, they would be considered lower middle class. For most of these kids, their parents actually struggle to pay tuition and their credit card payments (talk about living a champagne lifestyle on a beer salary).

    For anyone who hasn’t gotten the memo yet, it’s ALL about appearances in Nicaragua.

    In the meantime, these kids grow up to be extremely entitled little pricks, thinking that they are untouchables and are blue-blood high class society people when they are not.

    The worst part? Well they’re not very bright folk either! They graduate with poor English and even worse Spanish! Have you ever witnessed the grammar (in Spanish) of an ANS graduate, terrible, they are almost illiterate in Spanish! Also they know very little about the culture, history and richness of this country, and have very little appreciation for their own ethnic background.

    At the end, once they go to college in the U.S. they are smacked in the face with a brick called reality, they are no longer the big fish in the small pond. All the sudden mentioning who daddy is, is irrelevant and they are forced to mature and find people who like them for whom they truly are.
    Consequently, very few make it in the States, they lack that “common touch”, the ability to connect with others due to wit, humor or common sense, as they are used to getting everything handed to them. This breaks many little “rich” kids’ hearts, who have to come back to their home country, which they do not relate, connect or associate with.
    But alas, they soon find a job at daddy’s company find another society wanna-be chick, have kids, live in debt and put their kids through the same entitled waste of space existence, and the cycle continues…

    All in the name of appearances, and keeping up with the (insert Nicaraguan prestigious family last name).

    We need a better school, a non-denomination (nothing against Catholics:), school, that teaches values, culture, humility, independent of religious affiliation.

    • GAS307

      I could not agree more with what you have just said. After teaching at one of those self-proclaimed “international” schools, I gained disturbing insight into the dysfunctional world of Managua’s elite. You aptly point out that many of these people walk around with serious entitlement issues, though in the greater context of the world, or even the American society they aspire to be part of, they would not even be considered middle class.

      Something you touched upon that I can really relate to is how wildly exaggerated the caliber of these elite private schools is. Many of the students I taught were semi-literate, yet they were someone accepted into decent American schools. As you described, they’re essentially set up for failure once expected to hack it in a context where their Club Terazza card means about as much as a Pokemon card.

      Hopefully admissions officers will catch on soon to the rampant grade inflation and exaggerated reputations of these schools.

  • Valerie

    I’m currently a student at one of the private universities in Nicaragua. Some of my classmates from the ANS school do have the worse English grammar and speaking skills that I have ever seen. I know students from the German Nicaraguan school who have better English skills. The German school primary languages are German and Spanish! They see very little English!

  • Ana

    and what about Colegio Teresiano? also provide a good education at the bilingual secondary

  • Maria

    Colegio Centro America

  • Maria

    I have heard that ANS it is the best school, but I agree with all of you with your comments related morality. It is a surprise for me to heard that ANS english is pretty bad (because it is suppose to be the best english among the biligual schools). I also heard that St Agustine is the same. (bad english & spoiled kids) with the only difference that this school is catholic. Lincoln/ Notre Dame and St Dominic are Catholic, I do not have references of these schools yet. I can say that the graduates from German Nicaraguan School are usually the best students in local universitites such as UAM and Ave Maria College, and I heard also they have a pretty good english (The kids will learn English/Spanish/German). Recently a new school appear Piere Marie Curie wich is also trilingual (English/Spanish/French) It called my attention since a group of students identified an Asteroid that was recognized by the Minor Center Planet of Harvard University, they do not have accrediation yet but they expect to have AdvanceD acreddiation on 2013. In these schools kids can learn universal values (not linked to a regilion) and they are cheapper compared to the schools refered in this article, so I think is pretty good education what you receive in comparison with the money you pay. Find spaces in German Nicaraguan School is very hard, and kids start to learn German very early, so if you choose this school you have to considered is very difficult to enter there. Colegio Teresiano recently obtained AdvanceD but is under support yet. This school used to be only for girls now is Coed, this school is managed by nuns. (very catholic) the education is good in Teresiano and Centroamerica because the students that graduates from these schools usually pass the public universities exams, however there is not comparision between our universtities with US universities. The good think of these biligual schools refered in these article it is that most of them fit US curriculum. For example these schools receive Pre Calculus and Calculus which actually our nicaraguan curriculum does not have. Colegio Centroamerica is good if the student will stay here because is not a biligual school but the education is good, my father in law attended UPenn and he graduated from this school but he had to go to College first in US before enter in this University (we are talking about the 70,s), however colegio centroamerica during the 80′s was considered comunist, even in the 90′s some of my friends who studied there used to receive the “Nicaraguan Peasants’ Mass”. During my days of schools (90′s) this stigma remained also because the students were kids of comunist/ sandinist families.

    • Lucca

      The problem now a days is that parents expect schools to do their jobs. If we are going to speak about schools we should focus on academics and extra curicular activities. Focus on what the school has to offer. Mentioning morality and status of the kids is irrelevant. Judging a school because of that is pointless. Bottom line morals, values and religion are the job of the parent, not the school. The school’ s job is to offer the best education (academically) possible. Parents do your homework!

  • Maria

    German Nicaraguan School and Notredame has the IB approved.

  • Maria

    There is another biligual school Nicaragua Christian Academy (NCA) which is Christian, it is suppose to be good, because many of the teachers are from US. Not sure because I don’t have references.

  • Jeff

    My kids go to NCA and I am extremely happy with it, from both an academic and morality standpoint. There student body is a mix of students from Nicaragua, the US, China, and Korea. Most of the non-native English speakers have excellent English by the time they are in the middle grades. The native English speakers are not as good at Spanish, but they do learn quite a bit and, depending on their age, usually become fluent within a few years.
    And these kids there never cease to impress me with their politeness and maturity. Being a Christian school, there is a strong focus on those values, and just living with a love for the Lord.

    • JuanNoSoy

      Morality and values at Nicaragua Christian Academy? That’s a laugh. I graduated from that school. While I was there I had 2 teachers fired for sleeping with students (and they were just the ones who were caught; there were others we knew about), something called statutory rape in North America. A few teachers were fired for drug use (with students), and emotional abuse of students as well. One was an alcoholic who could barely even stay awake in class.

      Several of the Nicaraguan families who sent their kids there were government thieves and drug traffickers. We won’t even get into student drug abuse. The kids who’s parents were missionaries were just as bad as the rich spoiled Nica brats. Most NCA graduates from that time did not even finish university later in life, and many of them who had kids later on (and didn’t abort them) were not married and are currently doing odd jobs here and there.

      English? There were kids I graduated with that could barely say hello. NCA was where families sent their kids when they were expelled from ANS, Lincoln, and Notre Dame.

      As for academics; totally sub-par. ANS had much better instruction. For example, the history books didn’t actually teach history. They just said “because God said so…” and that was that. Most of the teachers were not licensed in their home country and a hand-full did not even possess degrees of higher education. When I got to university it took me 3 years to catch up academically, and I was in the top of my class. I had to re-take classes just to graduate with a decent GPA.

      I hope things have changed there.

  • Julio

    There are some recent reviews about ANS on International Schools Review – http://www.internationalschoolsreview.com

  • Why Granada?

    So many comments! How to attract attention? Maybe this way: of all the private schools in Nicaragua we are the best one! emJAC – escuela montessori Jan Amos Comenius, Nueva Guinea, Región Autónoma Atlántico Sur, founded 2001, all grades from 1 year babies until bachillerato. Mostly attended by so-called POOR families, mother run families and campesino families.

  • Why Granada?

    Sorry, I did not see the title “Granada” … Please change it to “We are the champions … in Nueva Guinea, RAAS”. Thanks, Tim.

  • Maria

    the best school is the german school, because the high academics standards, I know many people who graduated from there, all of them are very happy with the results, the school is a german school located in managua and follows the Curriculum of Germany therefore the quality standard is very high, all students graduated from there says that the university was very easy for them considering the high standards for matemathics, physics. The students can have higher academics than those graduated from american schools because the quality of the eduction is higher in germany than US curriculum. They also learn a good english, beside spanish and german. The school also has a range of sports and muisic since prekindergarten, they start the sports such as swiming and also to experience miusic. It is not catholic or chistian education, therefore kids learn values but more general values, for example respect to the nature, recycling, diversity, etc. So any kid graduated from German School, can go to any university in the world. Also the Centroamerica is very recognized but is lacking the languages program, because is run only in spanish.

  • Sara

    This is an interesting conversation. Let’s hope that as Nicaragua’s economic situation improves, it’s first (wealthy) families will also do so…I believe it’s only a matter of time to mature. Slowly, the Mamas y Papas will see what’s happening to their kids and move toward preparing them to take their places in the world.
    That being said, I’d actually like to ask for some help from you. I need to find a school in Managua – preferably a boarding school – that can admit a 16 yr old boy who’s bright but lacks discipline. He’s not a bad kid by any means but he’s at that point where he can go either way..and I’d like to do what I can to make sure he goes the right way so he can live the life his parents dream of for him. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

  • Gerd

    I don’t know if still anybody reads these late comments, but I have one question: Do all these teachers participate in the Last-Friday-Of-Each-Month’s TEPCE? We, private school in Nueva Guinea, RAAS, have to.

  • Karen Bartice

    Anyone knows if any of these schools do 4-6 weeks classes during the months of June thru August? I have a 9 year old English speaking who would like to learn Spanish. Thanks

  • EXansTEACHER

    I was checking the web to see how ANS has evolved over the past few years since I quit teaching there. According to the spot on criticism I have read here, it sounds like it’s still the same. Bilingual education in Nicaragua (or monolingual, non-Spanish) is horrendous for many reasons. It is all about money and power. Go the traditional route with a traditional, private Nicaraguan high school with affordabe tuition. The education is sounder,the people more grounded and it is much more similar in all regards to US education and values. The wannabe elite private foreign schools are a total waste of money. I will credit them for teaching the students English though…but academic knowledge is lacking while corruption and influence trafficing abounds. It just isn’t worth it. Sure, not all students are wealthy or a**holes, but how fair is it for each classroom to have several for whom the rules literally don’t apply because of their parents’ last names? It is so sad, but the schools are a business, and they have to make their customers happy. It is what it is, the American and other foreign parents at ANS can be just as bad as the rich and pompous locals. They imitate the lifestyle of maids carrying bookbags for their kids, chofers, security guards accompanying them, etc, it is all so over the top but that excess in the norm there for many students. These foreign parents can be just as manipulating and conniving as the other class parents. A good way to find out who is who is to ask who is/are the “room mothers.”

    I get that some people legitimatly care about their kdis getting a diploma or degree from a US institution or learning Englis, so pick the lesser of evils in that case. But scratch ANS of the list since it is the most expensive and attracts the worst of the aforementioned problems that although present in other competing schools, is probably less prevasive.

    PS, graduates of ANS are essentially iliterate in Spanish, it is such a shame how they debase the Nicaraguan culture and pimp it out for holidays, days off, use it as an excuse for corruption…but when it’s time to learn the language or history, it is swept under the carpet. ANS has some very bright students, but I can’t help but feel they would be happier and better served in alternative settings.

  • robert

    Nicaragua is one of those places that just because you are paying more for something (in this case education) you aren’t exactly getting anything much like the U.S..

    “Academia Europea” is another crappy school. In their ad for teachers they say they hire teachers with “perfect” English. Yet I know for a fact that the hire A LOT of non-native speakers with very bad English.

    Off the top to “Sara”-Nicaragua’s economic situation will never improve. It’s pathetic that the country looks the same in 2013 as it does in 1950′s.

  • Maria

    Karen, if you kid want to learn spanish and you are coming in the summer vacations, international schools use american schedule, but you can look for any private and national school, Teresiano or Centroamerica. I do not know if they can accept the kid for a few weeks, but since you will be paying maybe they can do an exception.

  • Maria

    Sara for a kid that lack of discipline, if you want an international school that teaches in english, you can choose Lincoln, St Dominic, St Agustine, these are more strict but are catholic, however if you want to have some discipline to take the best from him and learn about consequences and responsability I will suggest Pierre Marie Curie. German School will not accept him if he/she does not speaks german. Centroamerica and Teresiano are strict but the classes are in spanish, so if he/she knows spanish Centroamerica could be a good option as well.

  • Maria

    I agree that schools can not make the job of the parents but it is important that the job or what you do at home has some consitency with the job that the schools does, education is a joint -venture with you in the house and the teachers or the schools. In relation to morality I do not want my kid to be in an envoiroment where drugs are moving at the order of the day, or an envoiroment where my kid will feel is different just because I will not spoil it, or where the rest of the kids are feel they are more important just because of the money, or an envoiroment where teachers are codescendient without dicipline just because the parents of the other kids that are wealthy and with power and put pressure on them and they accept this, because they do not want to loose the kids. So I think is important to look an school that fits your values, and values does have anything to do with religion, you can be a good citizen, honest person and not believe in any religion. And when I said is catholic, or not catholic is because I know that for some parents is important have their kids in a secular schools while some others wants to reinforce their religion at the school. So if the parents want a bilingual school but does not want a catholic school (let is remember that most of the schools that are private and good here are catholic) then the options could be (ANS (which I will not recommend) Nordic Shcool, Piere Marie Curie, German School) there migth be some others

  • Maria

    Robert, thanks you mentioned Academia Europea, they hired anyone who says speaks english and they are not native so I tried to learn english there and it was amazing, because teachers tend to confuse you and sometimes they do not even know the answers to what you are asking. So their marketing is that you can learn different accents because they have german teachers, french teachers, australian teachers, the fact it is that they do not have license to teach or know how to teach a language, just because someone says speaks, write and read english does not know that you can teach.

  • Sergio

    Maria, that about speaks to about half of the schools in Nicaragua both public and private…many boasting things that they really don’t know how to teach with people that do not have the documentation to teach it.

    That is the lure of “teaching” in Nicaragua is that the standards will be very low, and anybody can teach.

    Also another scam school to avoid “Nicaraguan Bilingual School”. Same deal as Academic Europea. Bad English teachers with bad English “teaching” English and other subjects. Staff led by Ms. Ruth will tell you whatever you want to hear, so you can pay tuition.

    Also they do not differentitate grades, in other words, they put in 5th, 6th grades, with 1st, 2nd, 3rd grades in same class, learning the same lesson, in this case it would be whatever the little kids would be learning, and yet on the website, they boast their “academic excellence.”.

  • Hussein

    There’s also the Nicaraguan Bilingual School. I enrolled both my kids in it (Grades 8 and 2).
    Quite impressive school. The children are very happy and it’s at a short distance of C. Masaya. The curriculum is American and the fees are incredibly rational.

  • Marco

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwHEo2gkkBo

    Saw this about the school pretty interesting.