After Easter break, my older kid found out their class, ESF secondary, lost a third of the students. After school year ends, it will become more than that.
My youngest’s school, ESF primary, just welcomed 28 new students. Not enough to replace the ones that left apparently, as now many have to share the younger buddy they are usually paired with with other classmates.
The school now has a big banner outside by the entrance calling people to join. “All families welcome”. I noticed other ESF primaries put banners too. First time I see ESF needing to advertise.
I feel sorry for the kids losing so many good friends at once, without even the possibility to say goodbye.
I also wonder how ESF and the other international schools will cope with the lack of students. Maybe it will balance itself out with the lack of teachers? For sure now the competition among international schools will be fierce, as clear from a very long ESF survey to parents asking what are ESF’s strengths, what constitutes its brand, what shouldn’t change, what is better or worse than in the other international schools and which ones exactly are its main competitors.
On a different note, the kids and I habitually go shopping to Flow books / Lily’s bookstore, a second hand bookstore that’s been in mid-level central for many years, often moving place to escape rent increases. Books there arrive all the time and they are chaotically arranged in flimsy piles up to the ceiling, a dusty, precarious maze that reaches its full potential in the summer months when most expats leave.
Well, when we went last March, it was extraordinarily, comically full of books, like I’ve never seen it in all these years, summer included. The children room looked more like Scrooge Mc Duck’s vault.
It was at the same time exhilarating and upsetting: it was great having that much choice but also painfully clear that something had changed for good in this city, and we were the ones left behind… scavenging!
Here my little scavengers