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IGCSE & IB gaining traction in India


Dr Arundhati Hoskeri

-Dr Arundhati Hoskeri,

Director, MET Rishikul Vidyalaya, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Acceptance of IGCSE & IB education patterns in India and its popularities

India has been associated with Cambridge education for more than 100 years and Cambridge schools have been always been popular in the southern belt of India.  Today, there are over 400 schools implementing Cambridge International Examinations all across India and the number is increasing especially after March examination series were introduced in India along with their June and November Examination series to help our students seek admissions in India soon after the announcement of their results.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 and it was offered as International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) at the post-secondary level till 1994 after which it percolated down to middle and high school and primary years. This programme is also popular in India especially for those with international ambitions, for it prepares the learners for global citizenship. It has a flexible curriculum with various subject choices with innovative subjects like Theory Of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity Action and Service (CAS) and Extended Essay (EE) that brings about holistic development of an individual.

Rise in percentage of schools/institutes offering AS & A level programmes

The Indian economy is the fastest growing among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. The Indian education system believes in modern thinking, science, mathematics, technological innovation without forgetting our traditional and cultural roots. This philosophy in fact echoes in Cambridge International Education and International Baccalaureate Programme “Excellent International education without forgetting one’s local tradition and culture”.

The Cambridge International curriculum offers great academic opportunities through deep knowledge and deeper understanding of concepts and prepares them with highly competitive skill sets to meet the demands of 21st century. Cambridge International Examinations works with over 10,000 schools all over the world in about 160 countries and is a pioneer in providing coherent, meaningful curriculum for learners from primary to senior secondary stage. Cambridge qualifications are steadily gaining popularity all over the world including India.

How parents are accepting these trends

The Cambridge curriculum is flexible and offers as many as 75 subjects for Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) (grade 10 level) and 55 subjects for Cambridge International A Level (grade 12). These subjects are selected as per local demands and can be taught alongside the national curriculum. The schools are given freedom to frame their own curriculum that best suits their national context without losing focus on International education. It not only provides excellent content and concept to learners but also prepares them for life.

World today has shrunken into a global village and today we need to focus on preparing our children to seek success and survive in any part of the world. As / A Levels and I B programme enables easy adaptation to professional courses in India and abroad. These children are able to clear entrance tests to different universities abroad with ease. SAT scores are mandatory for all the universities of USA and those who have completed their IBDP or A Levels can easily get through SAT with three month preparation. UK universities consider grade C and above for AS level English and four points and above for IBDP English language. Such students need not appear for IELTS. If the score is below C then only students need to appear for IELTS.

Since the international school graduation –A Levels and IBDP are recognised by all the universities in India and abroad, parents are accepting the trends of these courses.

  AS & A level programmes make students ready for global challenges

The AS and A Levels offered after IGCSE are a powerful programme which help bridge the gap between senior secondary and university education. Recent records indicate a rise of 21% in entries for AS / A Level programme in India as parents are leaning towards this programme. Even now everybody is not aware of A Level programme and quite often parents feel that why their children should pursue A Levels if they are not going abroad for pre university courses. In fact A Levels is not only for seeking admission abroad but to equip learners for success in any profession they choose. It no doubt opens the gate for seeking admission in160 countries but A Levels is recognized by AIU (Association of Indian Universities) as being at par with grade XII of CBSE, ICSE and HSC.  All most all reputed educational institutions in India like  including Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, Medical council of India (MCI), National Law Institute University (NLIU) are happy to enrol the A Level students for their various courses.

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