International schools in the city are worried that many schools that do not offer international curriculum or do not have expatriate teachers are using the word “international’’ in their names.
The stakeholders of the schools have written to the ministry of human resource development to ban the practice by clearly defining international schools in the upcoming legislation to regulate international and private unaided schools.
They have proposed that only those schools meeting certain expectations of parents such as offering curricula other than those of the host nation, modern facilities, some expat faculty among others, should be defined as international schools.
Currently, there are 554 international schools in the country, offering three foreign boards namely, International Baccalaureate Organization, Switzerland, Geneva (IBO), Cambridge International Examination, Cambridge, UK (CIE) and Edexcel, London, UK (Edexcel). Among these, nearly 240 schools are affiliated both to international and pan-India Boards. A typical combination is: IBO or CIE/CBSE or CISCE. Maharashtra has the highest number of IB and IGCSE schools in the country—at least 41 IB schools and approximately 97 schools affiliated to CIE.
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However, many schools have also started using the international tag even though they do not offer international curriculum, said education consultants. This trend is mushrooming in metro cities as well as tier II and III cities.
“These ‘fake’ international schools, without any semblance of the characteristics of an international school, charge a higher fee by using the international tag,” said Raj Mohindra, principal consultant and managing director of a school consultancy, which has written to the ministry. “Unsuspecting parents are deceived while such schools tarnish the image of genuine international schools in the country.”
Mohindra said this practice is going on unabated because neither the central government nor any of the state governments have defined international schools so far. “It is recommended that international schools in India be specifically defined by taking into consideration the views of all stakeholders,” added Mohindra.
School principals said that schools are also using the word ‘global’ in a misleading manner. “Many schools offer international board along with a national board. But even the section that follows the national board is termed international or global, misleading parents,” said Chandrakanta Pathak, principal, HVB Global Academy, Marine Lines. “In our school, we call the ICSE board section as HVB Academy and the IB and CIE sections as HVB Global Academy. There is an immediate need for the government to define the term and come out with detailed guidelines for schools to follow. “