Here’s Why You Should Choose an International School For Your Child
We live in a culture that places a very high emphasis on education. Even before they know what it means, we ask our children whether they want to be Doctors or Engineers. Solid academic careers were the only route to success for the longest time. And our education system evolved around this necessity.
Career choices are altering dramatically today all over the world. Until recently, it was unthinkable for us to endorse off- beat careers, say in wildlife conservation, photography or wedding planning!
Today, perceptions are fast changing. While there are parents who demand more homework and examination focus from a school curriculum, there is also a growing population of conscious parents who want children to find their passion through exploring, questioning, and delving deeper.
They expect more for their children and believe in Einstein’s philosophy – “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Thanks to this dichotomy, today, on one hand, we have schools endorsing the ‘chalk and talk’-styled teaching methodology rendering outdated and extensive information. On the other hand, there are schools that motivate children to analyze, understand, and apply knowledge in context.
The Role of International Schools:
International schools provide students with the freedom to explore and discover a whole new world of creativity. Well trained faculty members serve as facilitators. Students in International Schools in India are also exposed to different cultures, languages, and races.
International schools provide high-quality education that promises to stand in good stead even if students relocate to different countries. Students who receive an international education leave school very well-prepared for further study and work.
They also develop a better range of `soft’ skills such as time management, critical analysis and independent thinking in comparison to their peers following other national qualification programs.
The Indian school education system concentrates much more on academics and rote learning and is extremely competitive. The ICSE, CBSE, and state-run curriculums do not integrate different streams of knowledge whereas this interesting element in international curriculums allows students to make connections with peers across disciplines and cultures.
Why are International schools sought after?
International schools are required to conform to external quality standards to be admitted to the program. The resources used for teaching, class size, qualification of teachers, etc. are standardized across countries. For people moving to India or parents seeking the best standards, it provides a measure of assuredness.
Though international schools charge a high fee, they offer a wider range of extracurricular activities that are not usually available in local schools. Specialists in the field are engaged as coaches. International schools encourage children to pursue diverse interests and hobbies.
They follow a query based, flexible approach to learning as opposed to the more exam-oriented approach that the local schools follow.
Local schools may not offer foreign languages and it is usually mandatory to study Hindi or at least one local language starting from 2nd grade. For higher grades, a second local language may also be required. International schools usually offer several language choices such as Spanish, French or German.
Though testing and assessments do take place in international schools, their importance is far lower than in local schools. In local schools, often a student’s life is ruled by frequent tests, dictations, and exams that test rote memory and carry a strong weight in the overall assessment.
International schools generally give very little homework compared to the local ones, especially in the primary years. Focus on writing also commences at a much later stage.
Approach to Learning
An International school is focused on research and inquiry as opposed to recall and speed. Independent research and learning are also emphasized strongly. This may not always be the approach followed in a local school where uniqueness is not nurtured and exam results are given primary importance.
Many international schools have higher education counsellors who offer help with college admissions in the US and other countries. The counsellors guide the students with college and course choices and follow up with student applications by sending reference letters to colleges.
International schools tend to have a mix of both, students and teachers from different parts of the globe. Parents who relocate to India favor international schools to minimize cultural shock for their children in a new country.
As for those residing in the country, enrollment in such schools introduces children to a dynamic multicultural environment and facilitates integration with people from diverse backgrounds.