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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

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A New Campus for American School of Antananarivo

By Danielle Andriantsiferana


A New Campus for American School of Antananarivo
Plans to build ASA’s new campus were stalled by a military coup and a confiscation of the school’s land, so the community has much to celebrate (photo: ASA).>

On 25 January 2018, the sun was shining for the inauguration of the new premises of the American School of Antananarivo (ASA) in the Le Park Alarobia district of Madagascar’s capital.

This event was a true time of celebration, as the school had spent a decade planning and preparing to build a new campus, suffering several setbacks along the way, including a coup and having land confiscated. The construction itself took nearly two years.

Parents, students, teachers, staff, and guests settled quietly on the beautifully decorated covered court for the opening ceremony. The new premises were inaugurated by Mr. Rolland Justet Rabeson, Secretary General of the Ministry of National Education, and by His Excellency Robert T. Yamate, Ambassador of the United States to Madagascar. They were joined in the ribbon cutting by our oldest and youngest students, Lloyd (18) and Sirine (3). This symbolized the joining of the old and the new, and also our belief in the importance of community.

More than just the completion of new premises, we were celebrating the growth and progress of the school as a whole. As Director Caroline Brokvam pointed out, “Today we are celebrating the completion of a new school, however it isn’t buildings that make a school. It’s the people, the teaching, and the learning.”

A world-class campus

Nestled in a quiet and secure area of 1.2 hectares, these new facilities located at Le Park Alarobia were designed and built primarily for the wellbeing of students, teachers, and staff, and to respond to the changing demographics of our student population. Larger and more spacious, the campus can accommodate up to 500 students.

The new campus consists of 40 air-conditioned classrooms, including state-of-the-art science and technology labs, makerspaces, and large and airy art and performance spaces. In addition, the campus features a large library, cafeteria, a natural playground, and extensive sports facilities. The campus is green and leafy, with outdoor areas that can be used for a variety of teaching, learning, and social experiences.

Who we are

The American School of Antananarivo (ASA) was founded in September 1969, to cater to mainly American students in Grades 1–8. In 1971, the school had 7 teachers and 45 students. ASA moved to its second location in Ambodivoanjo Ivandry in 1972, where it remained for 45 years. Now at our beautiful new location, ASA has over 240 students from 31 nationalities, and 60 faculty and staff members from 12 different countries. While we have grown and are continuing to grow, we cherish our traditions and honor our past. We remain a relatively small, diverse, and supportive community of parents, students, and staff, all committed to our vision that ASA students are successful, productive, and positive members of their local and global communities.

As you move around the campus, you will come across Grade 1 students learning about solar energy by making smores in the courtyard, Grade 5 students with their tablets and microphones doing interviews for a class project, or high school students returning from Kenya after having presented their community projects at the Global Issues Service Summit.
“I love teaching at ASA,” Grade 1 teacher Mason says. “I have about 15 students with 13 different passports in my class. The school really has an international feel.”

Candice, who is both a teacher and a parent, says, “I am amazed by my children, they are very different from me when I was their age. They are curious and alert. When a child believes that he can learn everything, absolutely everything, he is better equipped to cope with life.”

Erin, a young middle school student, is accustomed to moving from country to country with her family. “At ASA, making friends is quite easy,” Erin remarks. Her motto? “Keep being the best person you can be and always give your best in everything.”

We are proud of our new campus and the opportunities it brings. As Ambassador Yamate put it so well at the inauguration, “ASA is a shining example of how creating an open and stimulating environment, built on principles of respect, honesty, integrity, hard work, and resilience, develops young people with the skills and values needed in today’s complex world . . . This campus is truly world-class. The close-knit and inclusive community remains, however, and reflects the school’s mission of bringing out the best in each child.”

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