Wilkes University

MEDUCA Bilingual Panama Program

MEDUCA Bilingual Panama Program

Panama’s Minister Of Education Visited Feb. 10-13 To Sign Partnership Agreement

Signing agreementMarcela Paredes de Vásquez, Panama’s minister of education, visited Wilkes University from Feb. 10-13 as part of a comprehensive new partnership being developed between the Latin American country and the University.

Paredes de Vásquez began her visit – her first to northeastern Pennsylvania – by signing an agreement with Wilkes that will pave the way for educational partnerships in fields that include education and STEM fields. Wilkes already is hosting a cohort of Panamanian teachers as part of that country’s MEDUCA-Bilingual Panama initiative. The minister met with the teachers during her visit. Wilkes is one of only 12 schools in the United States and just two in Pennsylvania to participate in the bilingual program.

An initiative of the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and run under the auspices of Panama’s Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educacion), the MEDUCA-Bilingual Panama program brings cohorts of teachers to Wilkes and other colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to study English and learn educational methods that are best practices. MEDUCA-Bilingual Panama is part of a national commitment to develop bilingualism in the country’s public schools. The cohort studying at Wilkes includes teachers who work with students in Panama’s elementary and secondary schools.


“Wilkes is honored to host Minister Paredes de Vásquez and to begin this historic educational partnership with Panama. We look forward to a collaboration that benefits Panama and its citizens, leverages the strengths of our colleges and schools and enriches the Wilkes educational experience.”

– Dr. Patrick F Leahy
Wilkes University President


The new agreement was signed by Wilkes establishing a comprehensive partnership with Panama. In January, University President Patrick F. Leahy signed an agreement with Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, vice president and minister of foreign affairs, for Wilkes to provide educational opportunities for Panama’s diplomatic corps. In addition, Wilkes Provost Anne Skleder signed agreements of collaboration with four Panamanian universities: Universidad de Panamá, Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, Universidad Especializada de las Americas y Universidad Latina. 

Wilkes University President Signs Agreement With Vice President of Panama
Wilkes University President Patrick F. Leahy has signed an agreement with, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, vice president and minister of foreign affairs for Panama
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The agreement paves the way for the University to offer English language training and other academic offerings to that country’s diplomatic corps and other staff members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The agreement was signed on Jan. 14 in Atlanta, Ga., while , was in the United States for a diplomatic visit.

Wilkes U & Panama Agreement

Under the agreement, Wilkes will design programs for promoting mastery and use of the English language and other academic programs for professionals from Panama’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It also offers the potential to develop other areas of mutual interest between Panama and the University.

“Wilkes University welcomes the opportunity to provide English language training and other educational programs to members of the diplomatic corps in Panama,” Leahy said. “Wilkes is excited to partner with our colleagues in Latin America in a relationship that promises to be a win-win for the University and for Panama.

The agreement is part of a comprehensive partnership being developed by Wilkes with Panama. Panama’s Minister of Education, Marcela Paredes de Vasquez, will visit Wilkes in February in conjunction with the launch this month of Wilkes’ participation in the MEDUCA-Bilingual Panama Program, an initiative of the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela. Run under the auspices of Panama’s Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educacion), the program brings cohorts of teachers to Wilkes and other colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to study English and learn educational methods that are best practices. Wilkes’ first cohort of teachers in the program came to Wilkes-Barre on Jan. 9 to begin eight weeks of study. as part of the program. MEDUCA-Bilingual Panama is part of a national commitment in that country to develop bilingualism in the country’s public schools.

In addition to the MEDUCA initiative, Wilkes University Provost Anne Skleder has signed agreements of collaboration with four Panamanian universities: Universidad de Panama, Universidad Tecnologica de Panama, Universidad Especializada de las Americas y Universidad Latina.


Photo Gallery

MEDUCA Group Photo

Fall 2016 Visit to Roba Family Farms

  • MEDUCA Roba Family Farms
  • MEDUCA Roba Family Farms
  • MEDUCA Roba Family Farms

Panama Educational Partnership signing

  • president and speaker
  • president speaker
  • speakers
  • president shakes hand
  • signing agreement
  • president smiles at speaker
  • panel group
  • signing agreement
  • shaking hands
  • posed with agreement

Panama's minister of education & MEDUCA Bilingual Panama students

  • classroom of students
  • students interact
  • students shake hands
  • students shake hands
  • student greet
  • speaker
  • students smiling
  • taking a selfie
  • speaker
  • student smiling

Education In Today’s Global World

  • Honorary degree presentation for Marcela Paredes de Vásquez, Panama’s minister of education

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