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International Schools are schools of privilege and opportunity. They feed the skyrocketing demand of parents who want the best of global education for their children in top-notch surroundings. In these schools, some features are a given: they have state-of-the-art infrastructure, sprawling lush lawns, foreign curricula and cutting-edge classroom technology.
So who’s on top this year? According to the 2013 HT C-Fore Top School Survey, Pathways World School, Aravali has stood first - for two consecutive years. It has topped in nine parameters. The school has managed to sustain academic rigour without sidelining other crucial ingredients essential to holistic education.
“Nowadays, it’s all about being clones. We at Pathways choose differentiation. We choose individuality,” said Sarvesh Naidu, the school’s director.
Opening up to other cultures
International schools are global platforms facilitating cross-cultural exchange where children from various nationalities and differing backgrounds mingle and interact. “We are grooming citizens of tomorrow — global and responsible,” said Naidu.
The slant towards western education and its values are, however, anchored in India’s heritage. Students of international schools, by and large, grow up with a value-system that is international-minded in nature and end up developing multiple excellences.
Scottish High international takes the second place on the wall of fame. Offering the choice of pursuing the ISC curriculum or the internationally acclaimed International Bacclaureate Diploma, Scottish High excels in the ‘academic rigour’ parameter. It scored second in ‘innovative teaching’ and ‘integration’. The school mirrors Pathways in fostering a pro-learning, pro-thought school environment.
“My school has not only taught me the three 'R's - reading, writing, arithemic, but has also imbued in me a sensitivity to become a responsible member of community and understand that the key to happiness is to think beyond oneself,” said Arjun Vivek Singh, Class 12, Scottish High.
Keeping apace with reality
In changing times, where technological progress is perpetually reframing our certainties, schools are conscious of the need for e-learning. Vidya Sanskar International School which moved up to the 7th position this year, is creating a benchmark in purposeful use of technology with the use of interactive white boards and projection screens to integrate internet communication technology (ICT) with classroom learning.
At Genensis Global, the use of techonology-based education has become a central tool in the teaching methods adopted by teachers. “Softwares like Mindspark, an online math programme, allows students to get practice in the classroom as well as resume the class when sitting at home,” said Pramod Sharma, the school principal.
One foot in the present, one foot in the future, that’s what students should do, said experts. “It is said that in 2030, 70% of jobs will be redundant, thus pre-acquired knowledge will rapidly become obsolete,” said the Pathways principal.
Despite exposure to exclusive education, pupils in these schools are also exposed to the bottom of the ladder as well. For example, each class of Genesis Global is tied to an NGO supporting either orphanages, slums, governmental schools, old-age homes. These schools may believe in fostering a global outlook, but they ensure that students’ feet are rooted to the ground.