IB schools or international schools can provide students with just the kind of global education we need now. The alternative education model goes a long way to prepare children for the future. Here are 6 myths about IB schools debunked!
As an aspirational India looks to contribute in every aspect of the global economy and society, we are confronted with a pertinent question that begs an urgent answer. How do we prepare our children to meet these aspirations?
It has been becoming abundantly clear over the last few decades that our current education system is woefully inadequate to do this job.
I myself am a product of our rote- and exam-centric, chalk-and-talk education. It was only when I became interested in creating an institution that could deliver quality learning that I realised the inadequacies of the education I had received.
A good education must provide children with a well-informed mind, develop their creative and critical faculties, and help them to become empathetic and caring individuals who are committed global citizens.
These attributes also form the bedrock upon which they can build a higher education and career suited to their talents and dispositions.
How IB schools provide an alternate education model that really works
Clearly, we need alternate models of education. When I talk to educators around the country, they share my concern that our examination-obsessed system is robbing kids of their creativity or the ability to be themselves.
It’s not that India has not experimented with models of education. Innovations implemented by Sri Aurobindo and Jiddu Krishnamurthy continue to inspire generations of educators and learners but their experiments remained small in scale.
While some progressive boards like the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) are bringing about multiple, much-needed reforms, the pace of these reforms will have to be slow because of the incredible diversity of schools they need to manage.
Given these realities, one of the low hanging fruits is in adopting International Boards that are more focused on 21st century skills.
By incorporating the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) and International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) curricula into their pedagogy, international schools are offering Indian children an opportunity to join the larger student global community as equals.
When IB was first adopted in India in 1976, there were very few takers but we have seen a 10-fold increase in the last 15 years. Now we have over 700 schools across the country offering an international programme at one or the other level.
In fact, India ranks second in the number of international schools with China following behind. The most prevalent programme is Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), followed by IB. However, Delhi NCR does not form a significant percentage of these 700 schools.
6 myths about IB schools that you need to understand
Let us examine some of the myths about international schools that are clouding our judgment:
Myth 1: International schools are too new and untested
Not really. The first IB school was set up in India in 1976, and Cambridge has been in India for over 50 years. Top schools in India such as Woodstock, American Schools, British Schools and Kodaikanal International Schools have offered the international curriculum for decades.
Now even the Doon School offers international programmes to students. India has definitely witnessed a spurt in the popularity of international schools over the last decade. Globally too, there has been a proliferation of international schools.
In fact, Delhi and Gurugram lag far behind other cities in India in terms of international schools. Let’s take a look at the CAIE schools in India:
Source: Cambridge Assessment International Education
Myth 2: International school students are not accepted by Indian universities
Contrary to popular perception, 43 per cent of IB school students get admission in Indian universities, as the figure on college destinations of IB students, shows:
Some of the top universities in India such as Shiv Nadar, Jindal and Ashoka prefer international programme students.
Apart from this, international programmes are recognised by the Association of Indian Universities, Universities of Mumbai, Delhi and Pune, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies and Gujarat University.
Globally too, international programmes open the doors of opportunity in Canada, Australia, France, Scandinavia; the US is not the only choice.
Myth 3: We did fine. So will our children
Let’s face it. The world is a completely different place today from when we were students. The advancement of technology has completely transformed the way we learn, work, live and communicate.
It is estimated that children entering school now will eventually work in careers that are unheard of today. In this scenario, crucial skills for employment and employability will be critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, collaboration and leadership and agility and adaptability. These are areas that international programmes focus on and develop.
While the National Education Policy has suggested far-reaching reforms of the Indian education system, the scale and diversity of schools in India, lack of infrastructure and trained teachers are challenges that will take time to overcome and for reform to take root.
Myth 4. International programmes are not rigorous enough
It’s true that international programmes do not believe in rote learning or mindless rigour of repetition but the overall rigour in terms of deeper learning and critical thinking is far greater.
These boards also require consistent effort throughout the year versus the more prevalent study for a couple of months for examinations, remember and then forget’ format that we are more familiar with.
Their curricula are designed to remove barriers to learning, based on inquiry, focused on conceptual understanding and effective teamwork and collaboration, developed in local and global contexts and informed by assessment.
Myth 5. We do not implement international programmes well in India
With a proliferation of international schools, an entire ecosystem has come up around international programmes with better faculty and investment in teacher education.
Some schools have performed exceptionally well; for instance, Dhirubhai Ambani International School has one of the highest average IB scores in the world.
That being said, it is important to know that not all schools implement international programmes well. When you are choosing a school for your child, it is important to understand the ethos of the school to gauge how well it will perform on international programmes.
Myth 6. International schools are just too expensive
The fact is that international schools charge within a very broad price range from as low as INR 1 lakh to INR 25 lakh per annum. While the cost of education, given the need for high quality resources and teachers, is definitely much higher than Indian boards’ schools, the return on investment in terms of relevant skills and knowledge is high.
International schools provide an education that develops knowledge, skills and motivation students need to be successful at university and beyond.
The ultimate aim, of course, is to ensure that our children do not lose out on opportunities developmental, academic, higher educational and career while the wheels of reform turn slowly in our education system. And international schools may be the way out in the interim.
Source : https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/6-myths-about-international-schools-debunked-here-s-why-you-should-pick-an-ib-school-1635679-2020-01-10
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