Global is the way to go

2Nasreen Sattar

NSoJ Bureau 

Today international schools are the trend in India, particularly in Bangalore. They range from the smaller ones to the top-notch institutions, offering an education that has an edge in a fast growing world in which life is taking a rapid turn towards a global perspective.

Education is seeing a shift in concept in Bangalore which has been voted in recent surveys as the world’s most dynamic city. To keep in tune with that reputation, the choices offered in school education are expanding.

Though the educational system has been one of the best in Bangalore for a while now and the city has had some of the good schools, colleges and universities, these upmarket institutions are a class apart. They offer state-of-the-art facilities in terms of global education and curriculum. The cost of the course and the fee depend on the kind of curriculum offered, whether it is an IB or Cambridge Board.

These schools also arrange for meals to their wards and provide a wide-range of extracurricular activities, after-school activities, and transport services to school and back, making it an attractive package. Of course, all this comes at an extra price.

Zaid Sait of Legacy School, which runs a pretty popular set up at Byrathi village on the outskirts of the city, says, “society needs learned and cultured people who have an intention to make a positive difference in their lives and the world around them and at Legacy we ignite the minds to think, explore and find a distinctive meaning to life.” With a low student-teacher ratio the school is providing individual attention besides facilitating meaningful interaction, Mr Sait added.

By adopting established international teaching standards and practices, these schools have enabled relevant learning through inquiry and application-based approaches. The incorporation of technology and a range of co-scholastic activities have helped foster the skills of open communication, analyses, creative thinking, problem-solving and collaboration.

Ainee Sajjad, primary year programme (PYP) teacher at the Neev Academy, says that every day is a new learning experience for her as teaching the children she gets to learn much since the syllabus is application- and activity-based and helps in honing the skills of the children as against just imparting knowledge. This is what is interesting and different.  Ms Sajjad suggests that this kind of application-based education can also be tried other schools in the country.

Faba Mariam, a student of the Stonehill International School, says that she enjoys the fact that the curriculum is interactive and inclusive and assignment based and that she doesn’t have to “mug like a parrot anymore.” She likes being in a mixed environment where some of her co-students are also, of course, Indians, but she also gets to meet with a number of expats and children from different communities and social setups, all of which provide a great learning and growth-oriented
experience to her . The only negative side to these schools is that they cater only to the upper classes of society, and the rest cannot afford these schools for as the fees run into lakhs of rupees as they have to pay a high price for affiliation to international boards, the infrastructure provided,  the teachers that are of international standards, activity-based learning modules, and extra- curricular activities such as field trips, open days at school and so on.

 Nevertheless, these schools are not only existing but are thriving and just that small percentage of students is surprisingly enough to keep them going.

Taking a quick overlook at Bangalore’s International schools and what they have to offer, one cannot say they are better or worse than the other schools in the city but just that it is a matter of mind over matter and one can choose what works best for them.

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