What is International Baccalaureate

Founded in 1968 by the International Baccalaureate Organization – a not for profit organization based out of Geneva, Switzerland. Although, the organization is based in Switzerland, however, it is an international governing body and isn’t associated to any particular country. IB is the short form for International Baccalaureate – an internationally recognized school system which is home to three educational programmes:

  • Primary Years Programme (KG to Class 5)
  • Middle Years Programme (Class 6 to Class 10)
  • Diploma Programme (Class 11 and Class 12).

Difference between International Baccalaureate and CBSE

When compared to the CBSE’s curriculum, the one adopted by the International Baccalaureate is more application oriented and practical. Also, the programme includes a wider continuum of subjects to warrant the holistic development of a child. The main aim of an International Baccalaureate examination system is to test a student’s knowledge and not their speed or mugging potential. The primary focus of the International Baccalaureate pedagogy is not on ‘what to learn’, rather on ‘how to learn’, therefore, till the time a student reaches Class X, they don’t have to appear in any examinations. Also, students are free to choose their own textbooks to study, a stark contrast from the policy adopted by the CBSE, where schools have monetized this practise. It is fair to conclude that the purpose of the International Baccalaureate is to produce global citizens. However, the biggest disadvantage attributed to an International Baccalaureate system is that the programme doesn’t use the local curriculum as a base. For instance, Hindi can only be offered as a second language in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme; which makes the curriculum more perplex than educational boards like CBSE and ICSE.

Why International Baccalaureate?

Over the years, the International Baccalaureate programme has earned universal status for severe valuation, which ultimately leads to students getting access to the top colleges and universities not only in India but around the world. In a very short span of time, International Baccalaureate has become the programme of choice for students in India who wish to continue their higher studies abroad. The curriculum trains students with tools like organisational skills, preparedness, self-confidence, research skills, and self-discipline. These skills help students build a strong character, which ultimately leads to success in higher education. Certain universities have even started specific scholarships for International Baccalaureate diploma holders. The ever increasing cut throat competition has made the university admissions around the world fiercely competitive by the day. Universities are progressively looking for other substantiation that a prospective student will succeed their university. Qualities like international outlook, quality curriculum, research abilities, and social service have become prerequisite and International Baccalaureate has played a substantial role in improving the student outlook.

The Programmes
1.      Primary Years Programme

Subjects taught in the PYP are:

  • Language
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Arts
  • Personal, Social and Physical education
2.      Middle Years Programme

Subjects taught in MYP are:

  • 1st Language
  • 2nd Language
  • History and Geography
  • Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Arts
  • Physical Education
  • Computers

International Baccalaureate World Schools in India

The International Baccalaureate World Schools are the schools which are recognized by the International Baccalaureate Organization and follow the International Baccalaureate curriculum. In India, there are 18 International Baccalaureate World Schools in India located in over 11 cities.

Although the programmes offered at the International Baccalaureate Schools form an incessant sequence, however, each can be offered individually too. A student studying in a CBSE affiliated school can join the International Baccalaureate Programme for 10+2 level qualifications instead of the Class 12 CBSE, ICSE, or State Board exams. The meticulousness and exemplary standards of International Baccalaureate safeguard the fact that International Baccalaureate Diploma is recognized in colleges and universities around the world. Moreover, it is considered a strong university entry credential. The fact that over 70,000 students appeared for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in May 2015, is testimony to International Baccalaureate’s mounting popularity in India.

International Baccalaureate is rated at par with Class 12 CBSE, ICSE, NIOS, or State Boards by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

There is a pre-conceived connotation that the International Baccalaureate is only for the elite. The high programme fee of around ₨ 250,000 doesn’t do any good to the programme’s fate. The International Baccalaureate Organization, however, robustly maintains that the International Baccalaureate programme is not only for the elite. Mahatma Gandhi International School, an International Baccalaureate World School based in Ahmedabad, is a 200-student municipal school where slum children study together with expatriate children.