Students are offered a bouquet of 70 subjects to choose from

People often recount how they were always afraid of a subject or two during their school years. Many children would swear that school would have been a fun place, only if they were not forced to attend one or two classes. But none of our education boards offer this flexibility of not taking up a particular subject. The maximum that a child gets to choose is his second language, out of about four or five languages.

Addressing this problem, the University of Cambridge, through its International Examinations (CIE), is offering children a bouquet of 70 subjects to choose from.

New avenues

“A child has to write a minimum of five subjects to clear the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exam, which is equivalent to the SSC certificate. The exam fee for each subject is Rs.3,000 and a student can choose any number of subjects that he wants to write. Clearing this exam will open up avenues not only in India but outside as well,” Janet Morris, Director, Communications and Customer Relationships, CIE, said.

While IGCSE is equivalent to SSC, the Cambridge Advanced exams i.e. Cambridge International A and AS levels, are equivalent to our Intermediate examinations.

To get this qualification a student has to write examinations for a minimum of three subjects at a cost of Rs.3,500 per subject.

Ms. Morris said that 22 schools had already signed up for these examinations in Hyderabad and hoped that more schools will opt for the certification. “More parents are coming forward to give a better education to their children, and CIE gives the best opportunity for a student and let him/her compete with students world over,” she said. “CIE gives a child the flexibility of choosing a favourite subject and excelling in it,” she said.

Cambridge Coordinator at Bangalore International School Geeta Jayanth said that CIE would not be burdensome for a parent. “We allow any child, from any board, to take CIE exam at our centre.In England, many children are home-schooled, i.e. they are taught at home and appear for these exams, so joining an international school is not necessary. Though, studying in a good school has its own advantages in the form of better grooming and quality guidance given by experts,” she said.

Exemption

CIE students, who want to study in England, need not clear TOEFL. “Recently a Ph.D. student from IISc., Bangalore took up these exams at our centre as he wanted to pursue his research further in England. As CIE is conducted by the schooling division of Cambridge University, there are more chances of landing up scholarships for CIE students. Anyone can take these exams and age or lack of former qualification do not matter,” she said.

CIE qualifications can be obtained by children from five years onwards at four levels – Primary, Secondary 1, SSC equivalent Secondary 2 and Intermediate equivalent Cambridge Advanced. Further details are available at www.cie.org.uk/india.