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International Schools in India


Date06 Oct 2021


What are international schools? How do they differ from government and other schools in India? And what qualifications can your children obtain there? All this is summarised in the following article.

International schools have been very popular in India since the 1990s and are often funded by companies or politicians. This makes them a part of the private schools in the Indian education system. You can find various international schools in India's cities. Most of them teach in English, but there are also schools that teach in French, German or Japanese. The international schools in India usually adopt the curriculum of their respective countries, such as the Deutsche Schule Bombay or the British International School Chennai. In many international schools it is also possible to take an internationally recognised qualification, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).

Compared to government schools, international schools in India are often full-day schools and teach students from kindergarten to senior high school. In addition, they are often better equipped in terms of technical infrastructure and opportunities for extracurricular activities. Some schools have their own tennis courts, musical instruments or art rooms. Since the Indian education system places less emphasis on the creative development of students, the international schools fill a gap here.

On the other hand, the fees at international schools in India are very high (EUR 5,000 - 20,000 per year). The advantage of international schools is that they often have similar structures worldwide, so integration is easy for children who often change schools. In addition, most schools offer English as a foreign language, so that students whose mother tongue is not English can quickly get to grips with the language. Admission procedures are different at each school. Some schools give preference to children of certain nationalities. School entry also depends on the school. While some schools accept new students all year round, others only admit students at the beginning of the school year or semester.

Both the IB (International Baccalaureate) and the Cambridge IGCSE are globally recognised school-leaving qualifications. Many international schools in India offer their students one of these qualifications to give them the best chance of further education abroad. The curricula of these two degrees focus particularly on intercultural competencies, critical thinking skills, multilingualism, global contexts and interdisciplinary learning. Moreover, the curricula are developed independently of national governments and are often adaptable to the context of each school. In India, there are over 150 schools offering the IB, mostly in English and more than 500 Cambridge Centres.

If you are looking for schools in India that offer German, you should look for a partner school of the PASCH initiative. The initiative "School: Partners for the Future" was launched by the German Foreign Office in cooperation with the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA), the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Pedagogical Exchange Service (PAD) of the Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany. Partner schools are those that place special emphasis on German. They do not necessarily have to be international schools. The initiative supports the schools in expanding German language teaching, promotes exchange with other partner schools and trains teachers through in-service training and scholarships. There are over 50 PASCH schools in India.

Take a look at the interview with a former teacher at the Deutsche Schule Bombay to get an insight into this particular international school in India. If you have any questions or would like to share your experiences with international schools, please write to us here!

Written by: Tanja Holbe

Photo: Library (Credit: Priscilla du Preez - Unsplash)

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