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Common Myths Surrounding International Schools in India

In India, myths about international schools galore. Deep down, every parent is concerned about the career path their children would embark on. This concern manifests in early years when the child is about to begin school. Though many Indian parents have a good opinion about international schools, their perception about the international schools in India are foggy and at times confused due to their interaction with many opinion makers. Hence the myths associated with international schools in India. We thought of busting few myths.

Myth # 1

All International schools in India offer the same curriculum

Parents who have done their homework by browsing the net would understand that this is not true. But for the benefit of the majority who think that all international schools in India offer the same curriculum, the answer is a “No”.

There are two prominent curricula that International schools follow in India. One is IB (International Baccalaureate), and the second is Cambridge curriculum. The IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Examinations) curriculum is only for grades 9 and 10 where the assessment is done by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) body.

Some international schools may offer a curriculum that is directly followed by their parent countries like the English National Curriculum of the UK or American boards of US. But these are followed only in very few schools and most of these schools cater to their respective nationals. They are often patronized by their embassies or consulates.

Myth # 2

International Schools are for Foreigners and NRIs

By far this was the biggest myth surrounding the international schools. But this myth is slowly giving way, thanks to the proliferation of International schools.

Myth # 3

International Schools are for students aspiring to go abroad for higher studies

Well, many of us aspire to go abroad. Our children getting their higher education in the universities of Europe and America is indeed a dream. But the fact that many students who studied in other boards too went abroad for higher studies directly flies in the face of this myth.

But it is true that children who have studied in international schools are far equipped to handle international studies. This is because children from International schools are pretty aware of such innate qualities like time-management, 360-degree thinking, independent thinking and importance of living to commitment, etc.

Myth # 4

Academics in Indian boards are tougher than International Schools

This myth is not true in its real sense. The international curriculum is equally comprehensive like the other board curricula. The International board syllabi also delve deep into the respective subjects just like the Indian boards but what differentiates them is their approach to learning the subject. The practical thinking, facing the exams, problem-solving skills etc., are given more emphasis in the international schools and that is the key differentiator.

Myth # 5

There are no textbooks in International Schools. They keep doing projects.

Not entirely true. There are textbooks that are prescribed in International schools based on the curriculum (IB or Cambridge) they follow. The emphasize is more on projects, writing essays, presentations, exhibitions, games, etc. It is a strong belief that these activities give more room for creativity in the learning process.

Myth # 6

Students in International Schools cannot compete in Competitive Exams

Not true at all. This myth arises as a result of a perceived notion that the syllabi of International schools are shallow and they lack depth. We did bust this myth earlier. Students of International schools are more prepared to crack such subjects like reasoning, problem-solving etc., and hence they have a slight edge on these parameters over other students.

On a slightly serious note, cracking competitive exam alone is not a guarantee to career and future. The real success to career happens when students identify their line of interest and develop their skill set specifically in their interest area. This is the single most important reason why students studying in International schools have their career aligned to their interest. This is made possible because the teachers at International schools identify the interest of individual students and help them seek more.

Myth # 7

Exams in International Schools do not give results on time to join colleges or university

Not fully true. The Cambridge curriculum has its exam in March like any other board and the results are declared in the same months as Indian boards like CBSE or ICSE. Hence there is no clash whatsoever in getting admissions to colleges.

However, the results of IB curriculum are declared later and they do pose a challenge when it comes to joining college or university. But if your child studying in IB is applying abroad, this is not a deterrent as most universities abroad have two intakes.

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