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'Mumbai the centre of global education in India'

Interview Ian Chambers: What is the demand for International Baccalaureate schools in India? Pragya Priyadarshini reports.

mumbai Updated: Sep 17, 2012 01:06 IST
Pragya Priyadarshini

Ian Chambers is the regional director, Asia Pacific, for International Baccalaureate.

What is the demand for International Baccalaureate schools in India?
Data demonstrates that there has and continues to be a huge demand for International Baccalaureate (IB)-authorised schools in India. Approximately 40% of applications we receive across the Asia Pacific come from India. While not all of these pass through the rigorous authorisation process to become IB World Schools, it does demonstrate a high level of demand.

Are schools interested in shifting boards?
With PYP and MYP (see box), it is worth noting that Indian national and state boards and the IB are not mutually exclusive. National and state boards are taught through the IB curriculum frameworks at these levels. Therefore, there is not really a question of 'shifting' boards per se. In fact, the IB believes that our programmes should be inclusive and include the entire school. The exception is at IB Diploma (equivalent to Plus 2) where curriculum is more subscribed with external assessments - here students tend to choose between the IB and their local board as to do both would be too much workload.

What is the significance of Mumbai for the IB board?
Historically, Mumbai is the centre of international education in India, mainly because of the city's attributes: international, outward focused through trade with the rest of the world and quick to embrace change. The universities in Mumbai recognised the advantages of having progressive policies to IB students quite early. Mumbai University and colleges such as HR College recognise that IB students contribute to courses and life of the campus through their engagement in learning, their ability to research and ability to study from multiple perspectives.

How many schools have shifted to IB in India and Mumbai?
With the exception of the original international Schools such as American School, British School, UWC, Mercedes Benz, there are now many more schools that have offered various choices to their students. Some only offer IB Programmes.