International Schools – The Right Grounding Place For Your Child

Children are the building blocks of every society, and for every society to flourish and thrive, it is essential that its children receive the right guidance from their parents and education from its schools. This helps the children build a secure future for them along with strengthening the pillars of society. In today’s modern world, schools provide the initiative to provide decent education to children, and amongst the galaxy of schools with varied missions and goals, international schools are slowly stealing the limelight.

International Schools usually offer the IB/ICSE curriculum that was once the forte of the children of diplomats and ambassadors posted in different countries as part of their job. As international schools make their mark in India, they now offer the best possible educational programs that combine international methodologies along with a touch of localized essence.

With the advent of globalization and increased awareness of the world, children are now exposed to a world of myriad opportunities. The world boundaries are now shrinking and there are now distinct possibilities for younger children. International schools function on the maxim that children are the future of the world. As children experience the world of international education, international schools in India root their foundation in time tested core Indian values. The focus is on a world of knowledge, competence, and opportunity.

Today, most international schools in India imbibe an international approach with a global curriculum and an emphasis on skills and knowledge that have a worldwide appeal. Children today deserve the best of core values as well as international education as well as grounding in values and culture. For this reason, the schools are burdened with the task of igniting young minds as well as providing them with attention within as well as outside the classroom. With education in the right direction, children become courageous and develop their integrity as well as excellence. Parents can thus see their children evolve into a confident and mature child.

International schooling is centered on the belief that one goes to school to learn and simultaneously develop new relationships with their peers and faculty. The principal aim of the teachers and the rest of the staff are to develop a strong bond between the children and the institution of learning and mould them into responsible and global citizens. Most international schools in the country converge interactive teaching along with learning practices that covers a broad curriculum policy. This caters to a multifaceted development of all learners across the school. The result is an all round development of the child’s social, emotional, intellectual, as well as physical development.

Children get motivated to achieve higher academic standards, where they nurture the skills to become global citizens by imbibing a sense of national pride along with national understanding. With the aim of nurturing responsible citizens of the future, international schools of today pool in their experience and confidence to create a committed, responsible, and understanding child.

International Schools

‘International School’ is the term used to refer to an educational institution that promotes ‘international education in an international atmosphere’ by adopting a required curriculum or syllabus which differs from the country where the school is operational.

Such schools function mainly to teach students who are not nationals or citizens of the host country; they are ideally suited for children of people employed in foreign embassies or missions, international business organizations etc. Local students from the region around the school who wish to obtain a degree or suitable qualifications for further studies or a career, are also given admission into schools.

History

The concept of an international school began in the second half of the 19th century when they were set up in countries like Japan, Switzerland, Turkey and some others for families that travelled extensively, like missionaries, NGOs, embassies etc. These schools were set up with the help and assistance of the particular establishment that required the schools – e.g. defense establishments, scientific communities, diplomatic missions etc. – and based on the specific country’s school curriculum.

In due course, globalization and technology have created a spurt in schools around the world to cater to the increased movement of people around the world for work, business and other purposes; such movement has created generations of children living away from their country of origin and has necessitated the presence of international schools. In this context, improved national schools alone do not spell success; the benchmark for success depends on the educations systems that perform best internationally.

Criteria for an international school

In 2009, the International Association of School Librarianship decreed that an international school had to fit the following criteria:

• Multinational and multi-lingual student community

• A moving population of students

• Transferability of the student’s education – e.g. credits – across international schools

• International curriculum or syllabi

• International accreditation – e.g. International Baccalaureate (IB), Council of International Schools (CIS), University of Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), Schools Services etc.

• A multinational and transient teacher count and number

• Use of English or French as medium of instruction with the option of adding an additional language

• Non-selective student enrolment

Such schools have more or less the same curriculum as state and national schools – arts, humanities, information technology, language, mathematics, physical education, sciences etc. The method and mode of education is highly systemized and depends greatly on a technology induced classroom environment; periodical tests, assessments and grading of students are done on an ongoing basis.

These schools allow continuity in education for children of expatriate families, especially as they grow older. In many countries, relocation services and assistance agencies help expat families find the appropriate international school for their children.

Advantages of International Schooling

International schools in India come in different sizes and shapes and hence it is not always easy to take a broad view of what these schools offer. But there are certain things that lie common in any of the international schools irrespective of their geographical location. As you read through you will understand better as to why parents prefer an international school to a private or a public school.

Due to a high intake of candidates in a public school, there is no possibility to pay individual attention to a particular student. This, in a long term process, limits the growth of a student and affects him in infinitive ways. Creativity is almost dead since the teachers fail to discover the talent of an individual.

In an international school, the best part is that they follow the “NCLB” rule as it is termed in the US, which means to say, “No Child Left Behind”. The faculty of an international school is so particular about the life of an individual. They conduct separate discussion sessions and frequent meetings with parents and keep them updated on their children’s growth.

Unlike in any other school, the class size of an international school is comparatively small. This is a great advantage in a lot of ways. Every student will be given individual attention and all his performance will be monitored. The teacher has enough time to train a student in his academic and extra-curricular activities. They will not need to refer a progress card to remember the student’s advancements whereas in a public school, it takes a quarter year for the teacher to just analyze the growth of an individual.

Relating to the above point, since the teacher understands his pupil better, he knows what is good and what is not. Remember, the faculties undergo hardcore training before they are introduced to the class to give their very first lecture. The children are given freedom to explore themselves and discover a whole new world of creativity. The school stands as an encouraging pillar and supports the student in all possible ways. Their works are always noticed and appreciated. This encourages the students and helps them do great things. The well trained faculties guide them in appropriate ways giving individual attention. This, in the end means, they know what they are doing, and they do a better job.

Generally, in public schools, the whole motive of teaching would be to finish the syllabus, rather than educating. The average teaching time in a public school is around 25 hours a week; each class varying from 50-60 minutes. This overloads the students and brings in them an attitude where they only study to get a degree. In an international school the teaching time is just 16 hours. In most of the schools, the students are taught only four days a week. They make sure the students don’t get drained out. This not only will help the student to perform well, but also gives the faculty an adequate time to prepare for every lecture.

What exists in people’s mind is that they think international schools are often too costly. It should be understood that there’s a reason behind the fee structure. Food is one big factor to be considered. In India, it is a common practice for students to ignore the importance of hygienic living. International schools serve meals of high standards. The time provided for lunch is also higher when compared to public schools.

Muliti-cultural essence is another important feature of an international school. Students get to learn about different culture, language, religion and race. It helps build a good community and a friendly environment. This also helps an individual to thrive living in any part of the world irrespective of the people there.