Gone are the days when schools had the middle name of public, model or high. Most schools today function with the middle name of concept, global, world or international.
Many NRI’s returning back to india , the children of diplomats and expatriates who are on constant move, prefer to admit their children in such schools. Our own desi MNC parents or parents from affluent family who want their children to experience and learn from the microcosm of the world find international school a best bet for their wards.
These international schools offer excellent infrastructure, experienced international teaching faculty, lays emphasis on project work and facilitates exploring on your own. It does not encourage by rote learning. Another good feature is, it has a good global student community, student teacher ratio of anywhere between 15:1 and 25:1 and is recognized internationally by IGCSE ,IBDP or CIE for higher classes. Such real international schools implement the certifications well and helps these children adapt whenever their parents gets transferred across the globe.
Fair enough till now, but what is not fair is that almost many such international schools which have mushroomed recently are run by business men who don’t offer the above certification, infrastructure or faculty. Infact they offer the CBSE curriculum and easily claim that they offer CBSE syllabus through international methods(whatever that means). Many gullible parents admit their children in such schools were money is minted from the parents. These schools claim that they will be introducing the international curriculum shortly.
Very recently I met an upper middle class parent who had done just her X from a village school. She was very keen to admit her son in a recently opened international school and I could easily the dream for her son in her eyes. She could not be educated and she wanted her son to go to this international school. Curious to find what the school offered , I posed myself as a candidate for teaching in that school ( I did’nt even belong to that city and am not a qualified teacher). Initially the man in his 60’s refused saying there was no vacancy since it is a startup school and most teachers had been recruited. Nevertheless he told me to be seated while he was on a telecon and told me to leave my CV so that he could accommodate me when a need arises. While sitting there I noticed that a list of the recruited teachers ( with their degrees)had been pasted on the notice board. Not even one teacher had an international degree certification or training. ( I too believe that attitude and aptitude for teaching is more important than a gold medal or a training)
Later when I spoke to the man, I found that he a retired government official of the education department had been assigned the task of recruiting teachers. His native accented English did not match the name of the school. Here, I am not using English as a yardstick, but when you quote exorbitant sum as fees for the tag international, then most parents would definitely expect that the fee should match the standard. Atleast that is definitely a pre-requisite to recruit teachers for an international school.
HE also told me that the school is run by his friend, a business man. When I enquired if the school followed the IGCSE or IBDP curriculum. He said, “ No, the international tag is just to distinguish us from other schools. You see, there are too many schools now and if we have to stand up against them, we have to have an identity and that is why the name international.” I was’nt shocked because you can judge whether a school is international or not by seeing the building, the name( most often it is named after their grandparent, religious guru or their children) the working staff etc., I only had appreciation for the man who atleast admitted the truth.
I immediately alerted that rich young mom and told her to check what international standards they offer before she coughs up the indecent money and not to get carried away by the shining floors and swimming pool. This school had a beautiful structure but did not even have an impressive campus and was located bang in the middle of a residential locality sharing its compound with a temple.
Such is the plight of education imparted. Parents too announce in social circles that their ward attends a global or international school while the curriculum is Indian. Sadly they shell out their hard earned money for the tag international.( It costs anywhere between 3-8 lakhs per year in a real international school atleast for class XI).
Next time young parents when you look out for international school check their website for information , don’t subscribe to the shiny mirrored surfaces, ac rooms, swimming pool, tennis courts ,the plush lobby and the modern glass and chrome structure. Instead find out if they really offer the international curriculum. After all we put in a lot of hardwork and sacrifice family hours to earn our money. Don’t we? Many of them even avail educational loans for their children's education.
I have nothing against the genuine international schools which acts as a springboard for many students aiming for ivy league schools, but definitely against the so called ‘International’ schools which have mushroomed just to fill in the kitties of self centered business men.
(These are my views and experiences based on my surroundings and may differ for many people.)