With classrooms built from bamboo, and a parent network of CEOs and tech entrepreneurs, the Green School describes itself as the ‘school of the future, now’.
“The purpose is to… focus on making the world more sustainable”
At its Bali campus, 500 students are taught a mix of traditional subjects including maths and science as well as ‘thematic courses’ where they apply practical knowledge to solve real-life problems, like building a pond for the school.
The institution’s green outlook has proved popular, and now a school in New Zealand is set to open in February 2020.
Two more schools, one in the Western Cape province of South Africa and one in Tulum Mexico, are set to open in 2021.
Aysha Haider, head of marketing and communications for Green School International told The PIE News that the purpose is to create a global community of learners and focus on making the world more sustainable.
“A lot of people talk about this as being very important but we actually live it. It’s in everything we do, it’s in our campus, it’s in our environment, it’s woven into all of our learning programs,” she said.
“We want to nurture ‘change-makers’ and send them into the world… people who are empathetic and who are making this world a better place,” she added.
The school has been endorsed by politicians, and celebrities alike with former secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, saying it was the most unique and impressive school he had ever seen, after a 2014 visit.
Fees for international students at the proposed New Zealand campus will be as high as US$27,563.43. In Bali, where the student body is primarily made up of expats from America, Australia and Western Europe, annual fees go up to $19,171.30
Green School New Zealand. Photo: greenschool.org
While the Bali school is non-profit due to Indonesian law, Haider said the group is looking for opportunities around the world.
“We’re not looking at Green School as a niche approach to education. We are unique and different but we do want to achieve scale and impact and so we want to grow rapidly,” said Haider.
“We are open to different kinds of models for the other schools. It really depends on the team that we are working with, the founder investor and how they want to approach it…it’s a case by case basis.”
The school already has investors but is still considering how it might partner with other organisations to build more schools in the future.
“We are being approached by a lot of different people and institutions, to open schools… it’s really about finding the right people.
“For a green school, you really need to find people who understand the model and who believe in it,” added Haider.