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IB programme helps students gain global perspective and appreciate cultural differences

Assessment is based on problem-solving activities, investigation of facts, debates, experiments, analysis and reflection

When I first heard about the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, it was something new and sounded rather interesting. Egged on, I did a little more research to discover that several schools have adopted this system and are seeing several benefits from the same. In the Asia Pacific region, there are about 355 schools that offer this programme; globally, the number is 1,571.

Education in India has opened up for experimentation. The International schools offer an environment where students and staff come from a mix of cultures and societies to learn and teach a syllabus which is designed to represent a global perspective.

Challenging

The IB has a Primary Years Programme designed for students aged 3 to 12 and a Middle Years Programme designed for students aged 11 to 16. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a challenging two-year curriculum, primarily aimed at students aged 16 to 19. It leads to a qualification that is widely recognised by the world’s leading universities.

“The IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Students learn more than a collection of facts,” says Usha Mohan, Principal, India International School.

The International School of Western Australia’s International Baccalaureate coordinator, Damien Kerrigan, says offering the IB Diploma course at the school makes perfect sense as students are naturally inquisitive and bring a great diversity of perception and knowledge to their studies.

Terrific learners

Opines International School of Western Australia Principal Ian Bayly, “the International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who gain a lifelong desire to learn. IB students have a reputation of being terrific learners and we expect those undertaking the course here at the International School of Western Australia to embrace the diversity and challenges of the course.”

Adds Dakshayini Kanna, Director, Treamis World School, “the curricula encourage students across the world to work together and become compassionate and lifelong learners. Their ability would enable them to understand that other people with their differences can also be correct.”

In the diploma programme, students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (courses representing 240 teaching hours), and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (courses representing 150 teaching hours).

Assessment in IB is based on problem-solving activities, investigation of facts, debates, experiments, analysis and reflection, which ensures the usage of logic and intelligence.

Faculty shortage

The IB programme is not without its challenges. “Inventure Academy does not offer the IB programme as yet as much as we love what the programme stands for. The primary reason for this being that it is not very feasible to get the faculty required to do justice to the programme in India (at least not at a cost that our target market would be able and willing to bear),” says Nooraine Fazal, CEO, Inventure Academy. However, this methodology is gaining popularity in India and several international schools have started offering it.

If you want to know more about the IB programme, log onto http://www.ibo.org.