India is becoming one among the favorite destinations for many international schools now- a-days providing world class education. With increasing per capita disposable income and rising competition parents are looking forward to enroll their children in the best schools in terms of international standards and quality of education. With rising competition and job needs, the choice of the right school ensures that the seed for best education has been already sowed. Education does not only mean academics but more than that, essential for the all round development of children.
Education in India is starkly differentiated, on the one hand there are the schools which have ‘chalk and talk’-styled teaching methodology which, stuff the children with outdated information, while on the other hand there are those which actually teach your child to analyze, understand participate in non-academic activities and apply knowledge in context.
International schools follow the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. International schools follow NCLB rule that is; No Child Left Behind and every student is given proper care and training. International Schools have the following subjects: Languages, Arts, Mathematics, Sciences, Humanities, Physical education, Information Technology, and Design Technology. The IB Diploma Programme is an academically challenging curriculum that prepares students for success at university and applying at foreign degree.
The education system in India is very vast and there are a large number of international schools located all over India. India not only attracts local students but also foreign students for pursuing international education. India offers high quality programs of international quality and caliber. India is a home to world class international schools offering better infrastructure, quality of teachers and they focus on all round development of children. However, the fee of education in International Schools is also very high, as compared to schools teaching Indian boards like CBSE or ICSE. Many International schools in India have a student exchange program methodology and even grant scholarships to meritorious students. Apart from this, some international schools also provide assistance to parents for availing education loans and other financial aids. An educational consultant is provided to every student on a regular basis, for regular mentoring of the student. School students having difficulty in academics are continuously monitored and encouraged to perform well through special sessions. Some international schools provide facilities of higher education to the working population, who wish to upgrade their education or acquire knowledge in various disciplines. It helps the students to upgrade educational qualification for academic achievements in the process of life long education.
How do parents know if the school is truly international?
- A quick glance through the website of the school will tell you about the atmosphere of the school
- The students, staff and teachers coming from various cultures and societies teach a syllabus which is diverse and represents a global perspective
- A common misconception is that if the school offers any one or a combination of international curriculums such as the American, Canadian, the GCSE (British), the IB or the IGCSE (the international component of the British GCSE), it automatically becomes an international school. However, these assumptions are incorrect because the word international truly means an environment where cross-cultural contact and pedagogy is practiced and the only two systems which actually incorporate this are the IB and the IGCSE. Many international schools in India offer a combination of the ICSE, IGCSE and the IB. The first two evolving from a common parenthood, the Cambridge University system, while the IB saw its beginnings in Switzerland to aid the children of diplomats.
In India, international schools provide every student freedom to explore them selves and discover a whole new world of creativity. The well trained and best faculties are given to every individual. India is a multi cultured, multi linguistic and multi cultured country a home to people from different walks of life so this becomes a benefit to children of Non-Indian origin. They can still have the same international exposure and quality of education that is taught in schools in their countries. Students in international schools in India are also exposed to different culture, language, religion and race. It helps build a good community and a friendly environment. An interesting element which is completely absent in the national curriculums like ICSE and CBSE is the process of integrating knowledge which allows students to make connections with students across disciplines and cultures.
During IB Diploma Programme students study six courses at higher level or standard level. In this course students study six subjects chosen from the six subject groups, complete an extended essay ,follow a theory of knowledge course (TOK),participate in creativity, action, service (CAS). English, French and Spanish are the three compulsory subjects. They also emphasis on extra-curricular activities like sports, dramatics and talent shows. The IB and IGCSE curriculum insists on instilling what it calls, “international mindedness or intercultural awareness” right from the PYP (Primary Year Program) level in case of IB programme.
Most of the schools in India only offer the Diploma Program that is equivalent to the 11th and 12th year of study in India. Lack of trained teachers and costs of assimilation make the offering of IB courses in India very difficult. Many international schools have a mix of Indian and international teachers but deal with a homogenous group of students with an exception of few like Mahendra United World College near Pune (only DP) and the Kodaikanal International School (MYP and DP) which offer a truly international experience, admitting students from all over the world. Parents must avoid schools which only offer international facilities but not the curriculum or atmosphere.
Apart from this there lies a concern, the cross-over from an international curriculum to an Indian curriculum is not very easy. The association of Indian Universities has been unfair to IB. The Diploma Program marks students on a scale of 1 to 7 where 1 is very poor and 7 is excellent. When the same is converted to an Indian system, 6 and 7 represent a broad bandwidth of marks between 80% and 100%. Thus the cut off for top colleges just varies in decimal places raises a question mark on 6 or 7.
Therefore, the question is an international school worthwhile? Absolutely! If you can afford the best for your children then why not offer them the best. Similarly, parents and school authorities must disclose the right information with regards to being truly international. According to JustInternationalSchools there is no denying that international education prepares children for a multicultural future and the same in India, offers the best of both worlds – the traditional and modern.
Some examples of International School in India following the IB curriculum are the Dhirubhai International School, StoneHill International School, Kodaikanal International School established in 1901 was the first international school in India to attain the International Baccalaureate Diploma program in 1976, Oakridge International School and the American International School in Mumbai (offers all three courses PYP, MYP & DP).
Some examples of International schools in India following the IGCSE curriculum are Mallya Aditi International School, Singapore International School, Good Shepherd International School, Woodstock International School and Stonehill International School to name a few.