Sunday, October 13, 2013

IGCSE Schools with international curriculum double in 4 years

Looking beyond: Schools with international curriculum double in 4 years


School education in India is no longer just about learning from the textbooks for most children and their parents, who are looking at a new system of education that focuses more on holistic learning and growth. This has led to the phenomenal growth of schools offering international curriculum across the country.
In the last four years, the number of such schools in India has doubled to more than 400.
Between 2010 and 2013, schools offering International General Cer tificate for Secondary Education (IGCSE) curriculum have gone up from 129 to 310, and International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum schools have risen to 104 from 73.

Neeta Bali, head of GD Goenka World School in Sohna, Gurgaon, attributes the increase in IB schools to several factors.

“There are a lot of parents who work in multinational companies. They want their children to study a curriculum that is global. Besides, a large number of students are looking at foreign destinations for further studies,” said Bali, who feels an international curriculum also appeals to parents as it is more flexible and caters to a broad spectrum of subjects. According to an official spokesperson of Cambridge University, this year has seen a significant rise in the number of schools offering Cambridge qualifications in India. “Schools in India made more than 44,000 exam entries for Cambridge IGCSE (Class 10 equivalent) and Cambridge International AS (Class 11) and A Level (Class 12), a rise of 15% since 2012. There are now more than 310 Cambridge schools in India.” In most cases, it’s the parents, who play a crucial role in schools introducing the international curriculum.

The Swami Vivekananda International Group, which runs schools in Mumbai, plan to start an IGCSE section, also called the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), soon. “We are considering an IGCSE section as the board has a modern curriculum. The final decision will depend on the response from parents,” said Yogesh Patel, director of the group.

William Bickerdike, regional manager, South Asia for CIE, feels there has been a good increase in the number of such schools essentially because more students are looking for a curriculum which is packaged with flexibility and innovation.

Education consultants expect the number of schools offering international curriculums to rise with the boards changing exam schedules to meet the requirements of students seeking admission in Indian universities.
Across India, 46 schools, which include 11 from Maharashtra, are on IB’s waiting list to move to the international curriculum. However, schools that continue to offer national board programmes said parents are more concerned about the school that their children go to rather than the curriculum it offers.
But the demand for international curriculum has been so high that even the CBSE board has introduced its own international curriculum, iCBSE.

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