EDUCATION PLUS

A welcome change in education sector

For a bright future: Students appearing for the IGCSE ’O’ level examination in an international school.

For a bright future: Students appearing for the IGCSE ’O’ level examination in an international school.  

G. MAHADEVAN

Kannur University has decided to grant equivalence to the IGSCE syllabus for admission to undergraduate courses.

Till recently a parent deciding on a school syllabus for their children in Kerala had three options to choose from — the State syllabus, the ICSE or the CBSE. Now, the situation has changed, quietly but unmistakably.

The entry of an ‘international syllabus’— the IGCSE syllabus offered by the Cambridge International Examinations — into Kerala’s education scenario was relatively hoopla-free and free, also, of the usual controversies that dog the education sector. Over the past few years the IGCSE has established itself as a credible alternative to the three existing streams of learning.

On September 14, 2009, when the registrar of the Kannur University wrote to the India Recognition Manager of the Cambridge International Examinations that the university has decided to grant ‘equivalence’ to the syllabus for admission to undergraduate courses, it was a sign that the international syllabus and the mode of learning it entails have found even greater acceptance in the State’s academia.

The regulation of Kannur university now states that five passes at Cambridge IGCSE in Grade A, B, or C, and three/two passes at Cambridge International A Level would qualify a student to apply for undergraduate courses. (Cambridge International A Level is equivalent to 10+2 level of Indian education boards.)

Other universities in the State too have been approached by CIE officials for similar recognitions. At the University of Kerala, for instance, vice-chancellor A. Jayakrishnan has forwarded a CIE request for equivalence to the university’s committee that is to study and recommend the granting of equivalence to courses.

Understandably the CIE is enthused by the developments at Kannur University. A CIE press note quoted Ian Chambers, CIE Regional Manager, South Asia, as saying that he was delighted by the university’s decision.

“CIE holds regular meetings with educational institutions in India to ensure that progression pathways are opened for Cambridge students. Students in over 230 schools in India are following the Cambridge International Curriculum, and Cambridge qualifications are recognised by leading universities worldwide. This decision by Kannur University is good news for Cambridge students,” the press note quoted Mr. Chambers.

Kannur University is the first university in Kerala to announce its recognition of Cambridge qualifications. Cambridge qualifications are already recognised by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), and most major Indian universities including Bangalore, Madras, Calcutta, Mumbai and Delhi welcome students with Cambridge IGCSEs and International A Levels, the press note added.

It is not just CIE officials who are happy that universities in Kerala are beginning to take the international syllabus seriously. According to G. Vijayaraghavan, honorary director of the Trivandrum International School and the founder CEO of the Technopark at Thiruvananthapuram, it is high time that all universities came out with unequivocal support for the international syllabi. The IGCSE allows students those combination of subjects that are not possible in the ICSE or in the CBSE, Mr. Vijayaraghavan explained.

“It is not as though the ICSE or CBSE are more rigid per se. Theoretically students can take a variety of subject combinations. In practice no school allows them to do so. In the IGCSE such subject combinations are very much possible,” he explained to The Hindu-EducationPlus. The international syllabus lays great emphasis on developing skills of analysis and enquiry, he added.

The director of the Christ Nagar International School, Thiruvananthapuram, too said he wanted all universities to immediately recognise the IGCSE, A level syllabi. “Such syllabi encourage students to have an international outlook,” he said adding that his school would soon introduce the International Baccalaureate (IB) syllabus too.

(Apart from these two schools, the IGCSE syllabus is offered at the Global Public School, Kochi, the Kerala Institute of Tourism & Travel Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, and The King’s School, Kollam.)

Further information about the Cambridge International Examinations syllabi can be had from the web site >www.cie.org.uk.



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