International Baccalaureate program

The number of IB schools has mushroomed and there is a deficit in teachers who can accurately predict scores. Most of the teachers come from the local boards and are still grasping the concept of predicted scores. Hence, over predicting is a serious issue that only a handful of school have managed successfully.

Also, although the predicted scores are recognized by Indian universities, some parents and students have encountered problems in securing admission based on them. A former IB Student who is currently pursuing BMS at Jai Hind College discloses, ‘I encountered numerous hassles while applying to Indian colleges post IB. I had to run to get my eligibility certificate and had to specially approach various program coordinators to make them understand the concept of predicted scores. Some of them had problems accepting the predicted scores instead of my final marks’. With the growing popularity of the program such cases are becoming fewer. Nevertheless, if someone is still facing problems, approaching the school is the best resolve.

Some parents have also faced problems because of the clashes between the May –June IB exams and major entrance exams in India. AJ’s daughter appeared for the CLAT alongside her IB exams. AJ articulates, had the CLAT not been postponed because of a leak, we would have been in a real fix. His daughter was undergoing a lot of stress because of this clash. The May / June term is in demand, because many students plan to head abroad for further studies in September. A carefully planned schedule for the completion of IBDP related tasks provides students with the appropriate time to complete (revisions for the) relevant entrance exams. Students are also offered an extensive academic access system where they can gain the support of the teaching staff (for any problems they may encounter). Besides students and parents agree that the application based curriculum proves extremely beneficial during the entrance exams, as they test application and understanding over memory. Hence, the students are able to perform better.

The IB is after all an international board with a brand new learning method. This often causes adjustment for students moving to the board. Ian Chambers, the South Asia representative of the Cambridge education says that the IGCSE is often used to bridge the gap between the local and the IB board. Many students pursuing IB complete their secondary education in the IGCSE board (which helps prevent adjustment issues) However, students switching directly from the local board have to deal with several, changes. Students entering the IBDP from an Indian board may find an increased expectation of independent research greater analysis and application of concepts, a far more experiential approach and a focus on internal assessment that is moderated externally, throughout the two year program. To enable students to deal with the changes, many schools have an initial orientation program that familiarizes them with the requirements of the board. Most teachers and principals reminiscence students adapting exceedingly well to the program.

However, switching back to the Indian board post IB can again pose problems. Take the case of ZC who pursued an Indian degree post IB. For him coming back into the Indian system was quite a let down after the IB which encourages analytical and thinking skills.

However, for M it was a cake walk as he had already covered most of syllabus in the IBDP and the first year and was just a repeat of what he did. So it wasn’t a problem. Besides, IB helps to better your presentation skills and one can certainly make a better impression in class.

Although the board faces all these challenges most academicians agree that the concept of IB is brilliant and it produces diploma holders of a high caliber. In the last few years, the awareness and acceptance of the program has grown in leaps and bounds and several schools offering this program have cropped up. With various NRIs returning to India and increasing globalization, the program looks set for an optimistic future. But for now, the program remains an excellent gateway to an overseas education.