“Building future-ready education systems requires designing curricula fit for the 21st century, coupled with the consistent delivery of basic education for everyone that builds a solid foundation for a lifetime of adapting and developing new abilities.” ~ World Economic Forum 2018 Report
Global Education Census for 2018 shows a positive shift in teaching culture and learning methods in Indian schools. The census reveals that in addition to academics, Indian students are making the most of other learning opportunities to pursue their passions. International qualifications and programs are helping Indian students become future-ready. However, to prepare students for a dynamic future we need to understand the different learning programs offered by different international boards of education:
1- International Baccalaureate (IB)
The International Baccalaureate Board affiliated its first school in the year 1976 in India. The curriculum is divided into three parts-
- PYP: Primary Year Program (for students from 3 to 11 years)
- MYP: Middle Year Program (for students from 11 to 16 years)
- DP: Diploma Program (for students from 16 to 18 years)
IB schools do not evaluate students externally until MYP. DP offers IB Diploma equivalent to CBSE 10+2 qualification. Students are required to choose 6 subjects, one from each of the 6 groups of subjects. Furthermore, 3 subjects are mandatory:
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)- An essay of 1200-1600 words followed by a presentation on one of the 10 given topics.
Extended Essay- An independent research conducted by the student leading to a written piece of 3500-4000 words.
Creative Action and Service (CAS)- Every DP student must engage in some form of creativity, physical activity and social service spread for one and a half years to complete at least 150 hours of work.
2- Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC)
NWAC, established in 1917, is an official division of AdvancED, the world’s largest accreditation agency. NWAC offers American High School Program (AHSP) is recognized by Indian and international universities as an eligible qualification for higher education. NWAC AHSP is an American grade 12 qualification recognized globally as a stamp of ‘Excellent’ education.
NWAC Board supports its schools with teacher training workshops, teaching and learning resources and a school management system.
Aims and objectives of NWAC AHSP:
- Provides a set of standardized guidelines and framework documents for schools.
- Develops and promotes a framework of desirable educational experiences.
- Imparts a holistic and well-evolved structure to school education.
- Prepares children into responsible global citizens.
- Inculcates sensitivity towards cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal issues.
- Encourages and promotes problem-solving and operational facets of learning.
NWAC AHSP equips students with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills which are needed to develop ‘digital fluency’ to thrive in the modern workplace. NWAC AHSP curriculum has similarities with CBSE (India’s popular education board) curriculum which makes it a sensible choice for Indian schools. NWAC affiliation has enhanced the reach and prestige of numerous schools without disturbing their existing scenario and programs.
3- Cambridge Assessment International Education
CAIE, formerly known as CIE is a part of the University of Cambridge, focuses on the intellectual rigour. CAIE offers the following programmes and qualifications for students of various age groups:
- Cambridge Primary
- Cambridge Lower Secondary
- Cambridge Upper Secondary
- Cambridge Advanced
Cambridge Upper Secondary programmes prepare students to qualify for the internationally recognized Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
4- Council of International Schools (CIS)
CIS is a non-profit organization working collaboratively with international schools and post-secondary institutions. CIS is a renowned body that provides accreditation to various schools looking for quality and global level education for their learners.
Pearson Edexcel is a teaching program which supports teachers and learners by providing curriculum documents and assessment material. It is present in about 110 countries providing primary, lower secondary, GCE & IGCSE qualifications for schools. Edexcel curriculum is known to develop vital educational skills, including the recall of knowledge, oral skills, problem-solving, initiative teamwork and investigative skills.
International boards affiliating schools in India support students’ future of learning as well as their wider needs. Through the qualifications and programs offered, students can become confident, innovative, responsible and capable of shaping a better world for the future. The decision of choosing the right school board should be based on qualitative factors and perception of the school management. Students’ ‘Educational Experiences’ can be enhanced only by making a well-informed decision.